Hanukkah celebrates our ability to overcome adversity. No matter how hopeless things may appear today, with the support of community and our faith, a better tomorrow will come.
During this time of pandemic we have experienced so much pain. There have been too many lives lost, too many with financial struggles, an increase in food insecure families and a deep sense of uncertainty.
This Hanukkah like everything in 2020 will be unique in so many ways. Many will kindle their menorahs in isolation, away from family and friends. Yet the light that blazes forth into the darkened nights of Kislev raises up the reminder that miracles indeed happen each and every day.
As we have recently heard, thankfully a glimmer of hope is on the horizon in terms of the pandemic with multiple vaccines in final trials. We have been witness to a tremendous outpouring of tzedakah, gifts of love and concern for those who are struggling. To me it is clear that God is indeed present in our lives, illuminating the way forward.
We read on the Shabbat during Hanukkah the haftarah from the prophet Zechariah: “Not by might, not by power, but by My spirit says the Lord of Hosts.” It is through our faith and belief that we find the strength and the resolve to know that there is a way forward and the miracles will emerge.
So this Hanukkah as we kindle the flames and send that holy light out into the darkness, let us hold on to the belief that miracles abound and tomorrow will bring a better day. As we hear throughout the Tanakh, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God goes with you.” Chag Urim Sameach.
Rabbi Alexandria Shuval-Weiner is the senior rabbi at Temple Beth Tikvah in Roswell. She will be celebrating Hanukkah sheltering in place with her husband Jay and her son Ariel, his life partner Jareena and two rescue dogs Duncan and Kenzai.