An ancient legend has it that when Adam was first created, that he was afraid of the dark. And so God taught him how to make fire….and with the fire came light. No longer was Adam’s cave dark, and no longer was he filled with fear.
And so, among other things, the Chanukah flames represent our ability to bring light to the world — a world that knows many different forms of darkness: from cruelty to war to hunger to people who are lonely. Yes, the flames of Chanukah represent our ability to bring light where there is darkness, to bring hope where there is sadness, and perhaps also, to bring joy where there is sadness.
Yes, each of us is like Adam. Each of us can make light and with it bring something good and hopeful to our world. May we each be as flames of light and love and hope, and may our flame represent the hope and renewal that is Chanukah.
At the darkest time of the year, near the end of December, when the days are shortest, we light these flames which extinguish the darkness…flames of hope and promise that the light of love and goodness and tolerance between people can yet prevail, and that even as we see so many signs of darkness in our world today, the Chanukah flames call to us to affirm our faith that we can yet live together as one humanity, and we can cause light to prevail over darkness.