Dear Friends,

To travel through Israel during Chanukah is a special joy. Everywhere we see menorahs and few Christmas lights. Yes, it is “normal” to be Jewish here. The bus driver, the waiter, the salespeople in shops-they are all Jewish and all observing Chanukah. What a difference than what we experience at home.

I like the story of a group of children who went to a sage because they were upset by the darkness of our world. The darkness of cruelty, the darkness of war and hunger and loneliness. They asked the sage: “What can we do to bring light where there is such darkness?”

He said: “Go down to the dark cellar with brooms and try to sweep the darkness away.” But it didn’t work. “Go down to the cellar and shout as loud as you can, and shout the darkness away.” Again it didn’t work. “Go down to the dark cellar with sticks and try to beat the darkness away.” But again to no avail.

Finally the sage said: “Let each of you go down to the dark cellar and light a candle.” And so they did that, and sure enough, the darkness was replaced by light. So, at the darkest time of the year, let each of us be a light of goodness, kindness and love. Our “light” can surely make a difference in a world that knows too much darkness.

Shabbat shalom,   

         Rabbi David Greenberg