A box of Chanukah candles usually is filled with 45 identically made candles. Yet, when lit together, from two on the first night to nine on the last, we see that each candle burns uniquely. No two candles go out at the same time, or shine the same circle of light, or show the same flame. Some struggle to stay lit, and others seem to shine brighter than all the rest.
This is our Atlanta Jewish community. We are all human beings, yet we shine our unique lights. We are all part of this Jewish community, but no one has the exact same story or connection as another. In this Chanukah season, we know that some are shining brightly with many blessings and resources, while others are struggling and need help. And, in this Chanukah season, we know that we are all under the shadow of antisemitism that is becoming increasingly visible and accepted. Let each of us strive to shine our lights as strongly as possible—to help others and to illumine our circles against the shadows of antisemitism. There is no more important time for our community to join our diverse and holy lights together.
The Temple is a Reform Jewish congregation in midtown Atlanta. The clergy are Rabbi Peter Berg, Rabbi Loren Filson Lapidus, Rabbi Lydia Medwin, Cantor Tracey Scher, Rabbi Steven Rau.