A Chanukah Message from Rabbi Dubinsky and Sheriff Gannon
Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, begins this year on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 22 and concludes the evening of Monday, Dec. 30. It commemorates the victory of a militarily weak Jewish people who defeated the Syrian Greeks who had overrun ancient Israel and sought to impose restrictions on the Jewish way of life and prohibit religious freedom. They also desecrated and defiled the Temple and the oils prepared for the lighting of the menorah, which was part of the daily service. Upon recapturing the Temple only one jar of undefiled oil was found, enough to burn for only one day, but it lasted miraculously for eight. In commemoration, Jews celebrate Chanukah for eight days by lighting an eight-branched candelabrum known as a menorah. Today, people of all faiths consider the holiday a symbol and message of the triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.
Our hearts were broken when we heard of the tragic attack on a Jewish grocery store in Jersey City.
The Lubavitcher Rebbe always taught us to find healing after tragedy by channeling our grief into positive actions.
Take a moment to think of a practical way to make this world a better place. Put a smile on someone’s face. Be generous with your time and money to someone who needs it. Strengthen your relationship with G-d. Pray a little deeper. Do one more good deed you may not typically focus on.
This world could use it.
The message of Chanukah could never be more relevant: A little bit of light is often all it takes to chase away a lot of darkness.
Rabbi Levi Dubinsky, Chabad Jewish Center, Mountain Lakes | Boonton | Denville
James Gannon, Morris County Sheriff