Hanukkah, the festival of lights. A time for latkes and presents for a full week! A joyous and wonderful holiday that has been celebrated for years and years over the Maccabee success against the Syrian-Greeks. But what is the true meaning of Hanukkah? The true meaning is life. We celebrate and light our candles on the menorah to celebrate that we are a living force that will never burn out. That we have continued to live on through oppression and tyranny for centuries, but still survived as one. So what is my point? My point is that even though it is past Hanukkah, we are still burning bright.
Currently, Israel is being attacked once again by Gaza. Over and over again bombs have been sent into cities in southern Israel. But Israel continues to fight back and live on for the generations to come. Currently, on December 10th, a Hamas spokesman praised a terrorist attack adjacent to the Ofra settlement in the central West Bank in which a pregnant 21-year-old Israeli woman and six others where wounded, describing it as “heroic.” Currently, on December 7th, a senior Israeli minister said Friday that Israeli forces may need to go into Lebanon to deal with the newly revealed Hezbollah attack tunnels that snake under the border. I know what you are thinking, “Why are you mentioning these horrible things occurring in Israel and how does it relate to Hanukkah?” Well, here is why. Once again, Hanukkah is a time to celebrate life. So, even in the worst of times with all these horrible things occurring in Israel, Jews and Israelis manage to celebrate Hanukkah with joy and still enjoy their life all of the time no matter what is happening around them.
Even though they are enjoying their life and celebrating the holiday, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be aware of the things around them and that we shouldn’t be aware. It means we should take a course of action to make their holiday even better. I am not saying to take a round-trip to Israel and fight alongside the IDF, what I am saying is to do some things that can make a big difference. You can daven more for Israel and make others aware of what is happening there. You can even download a free app called “Red Alert” so you know all the time what is occurring in Israel. You can even read news sources of current things happening in Israel. Doing all those little things can make a large difference because now you are informed and can let others know so you can find a way to help Israel out. Another way to help is to participate in a Hanukkah drive like the one that just went around in Hanc. The drive provided children in Israel clothing since they didn’t have many. If you participated in that, you should know you made a big difference for one or more peoples lives. But, if you weren’t able to participate, it doesn’t mean you lost the chance of helping Israel out. Maybe you can be the one to find the next way to donate and help Israel through the school.
So, in the end, let’s celebrate our continuing love for Hashem and our holiday but also be in the know on how to make others holiday in Israel better too.