A Chanukah Message from Renee Werbin

A Chanukah Message from Renee Werbin

For our annual Chanukah issue, we asked members of our community to share why they think it is so important for our Jewish community to, "Shine Our Light Bold and Bright."

Renee Werbin
Renee Werbin

History books will tell you that Chanukah is the time-honored commemoration of the victory of the Maccabees over King Antiochus and his Greek army. It’s the story of a small band of men, led by Judah Maccabee, who defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth in a battle that represents freedom and independence for the Jewish people.

Beginning each year on the 25th day of the month of Kislev, Jews around the world dedicate eight days to celebrate the miracle of finding a single supply of oil which miraculously lasted and lit the menorah for eight joyful days. Kislev is also known as “the month of dreams” and as a time of hope and positivity.

Chanukah is ultimately a story of bravery and courage (gevura). It’s a story of standing up for what’s right and just; of standing strong in the face of threats, challenges, and difficulties. Every year, Chanukah is a reminder that, despite the dilemmas and hardships we encounter, we can all bring light into the world.

Leaving the history books behind, in modern-day homes, the Chanukah of today is a celebration of pure joy: swirling with latkes, jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot), chocolate gelt and an abundance of presents and good cheer. Our children play games and spin the dreidel, whose letters remind us “Nes Gadol Haya Sham,” or, “A great miracle happened there.” Speak with your children about the menorah miracle and create new traditions for your family to mark this special holiday.

May this Chanukah usher in a year of peace and tranquility where no one stands against us, and anti-Semitism is forever erased. May each of us be a bright beacon of light, filling the world with rays of hope, harmony, and tranquility. Happy Chanukah.

Renee Werbin is the president of SRI Travel, a journalist and the publisher and co-founder of Travelgirl Magazine.

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