Light Me Up, Latke

17 Dec

Chanukah is my favourite of festivals in Israel. I’m not sure I loved it quite as much when I lived in England, but I can’t remember. Maybe because the only obligations are candle lighting, parties and the consumption of oily food but really, yeah.. no, that’s it.  What with all the dreidel spin-offs, obsessive replaying of The Maccabeats, Fountainheads & all other Chanukah-themed songs, dougnut scoffing contests and ‘special latke’ afternoons, there’s not a lot of time for remembering that we’re actually commemorating a miracle during these 8 days of Chanukah.  

Each morning ‘hallel’ is recited during shacharit and we say ‘al hanissim’ – both reminders of the true miracle behind the Chanukah story, but will I remember to do either of those things?

Recently here in Israel, a new wave of terrorism has begun. This time, we’re not looking beyond our borders but down our own streets. This is Jewish terrorism, where extremists are taking out their anger on the police, our soldiers and on citizens’ property. I don’t think I need to spell out how incredibly disgusting and shameful I find their behaviour.

It’s a post for another time but I am deeply saddened, also frightened, by so many things going on here, the extremism from all ends of the political spectrum which slowly fills the land with darkness. This country is threatened by extremely dark forces from both inside and out.  And now Chanukah, the festival of light, approaches.   

‘When we light our menorahs, we must look closely at those tiny flames and contemplate the world of potential. Where others see darkness, we are called to see light. We need to look at our children, look beyond the problems and the quarrels, and see potential. We need to look at one another, beyond the faults and the foibles, and see potential.’ – R’Shimon Apisdorf

This year, I’m going to try extra hard to remember to say hallel and al hanissim during the candelit, glowy week of Chanukah and think about miracles past… we might be needing one of our own pretty soon.

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Please leave a reply! Thanks - Dannii x

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