Chanukah: Lighting the Path of Continuity


Dear Rabbi, what do you think the main message of Chanukah is, especially for someone in our contemporary society? Thank you.



  1. After Millennia of attempts to assimilate us into our host cultures, whether through force or persuasion, we are still here. But it is not mere physical survival that we celebrate. After all, the genes of other ancient nations have also physically survived. The miracle of Jewish survival is that we have survived with our spiritual heritage intact. When we light the Chanukah candles today we are extensions of the Maccabees, lighting the Menorah in the rededicated Second Temple. In effect, we are continuing the lighting of the Menorah by the Priests in the First and Second Temples. Ultimately, we are even continuing the lighting of the first Menora in the Sinai Tabernacle by Aaron the High Priest, brother of Moses.

    The lights of Chanukah are also a potent reminder that physical might and numbers do not necessarily prevail. As the prophet Zechariah stated, “Not by might, not by power, but by My spirit, said the Lord of Hosts.” The miracle of Chanukah was the victory in which God delivered “…the powerful into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the evil into the hands of the righteous and the violent into the hands of those who are devoted to the Torah”.

    Best wishes from the Team