Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Section Banner
You are here: Home >> News >> Chanukah Reflection 2010

Chanukah Reflection 2010

Nov 29, 2010 — Categories: , ,

by Rabbi Julie Schwartz

Sometimes, the little guy needs to feel big. Sometimes, the one who is weaker needs to have a chance. Sometimes, the one who is willing to die for her principles needs to know that she will prevail and survive.

When I think about the story of Chanukah, I contrast it with so much of Jewish history. For centuries, Jews have been a persecuted minority--the official scapegoat on so many occasions. The tale of the Maccabees prevailing over the Assyrian Greek army is the ultimate triumph of the little guys against the all-powerful. It is a story filled with hope and the belief that struggling for one's ideals gives us strength. It tells us that sometimes, despite the odds, the idealist will win. Certainly the experiences of Jews throughout history makes this a story that has been embraced with fervor. And certainly it is a story which may give inspiration to any individual without power.

Those who abuse reinforce the reality that power will always go to the stronger, the one with might on his side. On Chanukah we remember that small, raggedy band of rebels who refused to give in to the demand to abandon their faith in the face of power. They found strength and courage in one another and in their tradition. For those of us who know that power is meant to be shared and that each one of us has the right to be in control of our bodies and our minds, we can hold up image of the Maccabees as beacon for the ones who are called victims. We can shine a light on their lives, and we can continue to challenge injustice and intolerance.

As the number of candles lit grows larger each night of Chanukah, may our resolve grow firmer that victims can become victors.


Document Actions