Every Chanukah, I turn to the words of our sage, Hillel, who instructs us how to light the Chanukah menorah. Hillel says that we add a candle for every evening, increasing our light each night. In a darkening world, both literally and metaphorically, I hold onto Hillel’s description; the role of the Jew is to increase light in the world.
Many have dubbed October 7th the black Shabbat. Indeed, there has been no darker day in the last seventy-five years than the 7th. Yet, on October 8th and each day since, Jews and our allies have ceaselessly returned light to the world: lovers were married, babies were born, and each week since we’ve lit our Shabbat candles—and now our Chanukah lights—to welcome the holy back into our lives.
After October 7th, we are still broken and damaged beyond our understanding. Still, fragile as ever, this Chanukah, we rededicate ourselves and our holy places to the service of the Holy One and one another.
May the Holy One of Blessing bless each of us with a Chanukah increasing in light, from our candles and from the holy spark implanted within us all.
Chag Urim Sameach. Happy Chanukah.
Max Miller is a rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Sandy Springs.