Week in Review 12-11-2020

The glow from the Hanukkah menorah will be even brighter this year as we are forced to stay home and light our own individual menorahs.

The story of Hanukkah is best known for the miracle of the jar oil. But the story also contains the themes of perseverance, survival, hope, and rededication, which in many ways mirrors our experiences of this past year.

That instance in the second century B.C.E. was not the last time the Jewish people's survival was in question. Throughout history, the Jewish people would be tested again and again. This year we certainly have been tested with the COVID pandemic and its ramifications. We are facing a horrific pandemic that is claiming each day as many lives as were killed on 9/11.

Today we are also fighting for survival in a world that has become increasingly antisemitic. Across our country, and the world, the Jewish community has been maliciously targeted. Antisemitic tropes have become more common in our political world as well.

The past four years of Trump's presidency have been tumultuous. Every issue we care about was under attack. But now we finally have hope as we look forward to the Biden-Harris administration.

At this same time we can begin to think about resuming our lives with a COVID vaccine, the miracle we have been waiting for, that is nearly on our doorsteps.

After the Maccabees defeated the Assyrians, work began to rebuild the desecrated Temple. The Jewish people also needed to dedicate themselves to rebuilding their lives after years of persecution.

This will be our time to rededicate ourselves to our family, friends and community -- all connections that have been strained over these last difficult months.

Through the centuries, the Jewish people have found a way to emerge from the darkness.  Today, let's have hope that as a community and country we will find that light once again.

Happy Hanukkah.