The Lesson of Hanukkah
Living with imperfection
The Jewish way calls on every human quality and every skill known to humanity. The past culture demanded fortitude and long-suffering, tolerating powerlessness and persecution without internalizing them. The present culture demands active responsibility, handling affluence, acceptance, and power without absolutizing them. The battle of Hanukkah is being fought again, not in military engagements but through creating family ties, competing educationally, communicating values and messages, holding and deepening loyalties. It can only be won by partial solutions, visionary persistence, and realistic dreams.
Pessimists and assimilationists have more than once informed Jew that there is no more oil left to burn. As long as Hanukkah is studied and remembered, Jews will not surrender to the night. The proper response, as Hanukkah teaches, is not to curse the darkness but to light a candle.
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