Chanukah Insights

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    by Matisyahu and Ephraim Rosenstein

    1. The real weapon is not ammunition but ideas. Ideas win wars.

    This was an observation made by Bertrand Russell. He noted that had the Maccabees been defeated, and glamorous pagan Hellenism would have stomped out the faith in one invisible God, the idea of monotheism would have perished in history. Had this happened, to this very day we would have been fragmented, deeply believing that wars are the right way to go, because even gods fight among themselves up there on Olympus. A world that believes in one God is a world that believes that we share the same world, that we live in the same universe.

    3. Hellenists were wise, but they rejected spirituality. They believed in body, not in soul. Body without a soul is dead. Wisdom without spirit is dead, too. We want our children not only to be smart. We want them to be alive.

    Lighting the menorah, the candelabra with eight branches for eight candles, represents the eight days it burned in the restored Temple with just a scarce amount of oil. But the very symbol of burning light is the symbol not only of victory but also of the light restored at the Temple. Dark forces can come and destroy the Temple. They can desecrate it and make it lie in ruins. And when we conquer the Temple back, the most important thing we want to do is rekindle the light of inspiration, of hope, of wisdom.

    We see a lot of darkness around us. And mostly what we do is sigh and escape into our own little worlds where we keep ourselves busy. Do we have the courage to acknowledge that there is light in this world? That it has chance? Are we willing to put our lives on the line for the hope that this world can and will become a better place?

    Related Article: Chanukah’s Secret to Greatness

    6. Each day must bring more light in the world. If there will be the same light as yesterday, the world will get darker by the day.

    7. Sharing light with others requires courage. Courage to believe in light, because unfortunately, many people give in to the darkness.

    8. Give yourself a chance to be a hero!

    This article originally appeared in the Jewish Week


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