What was the miracle of Hanukkah? Perhaps it was that the few were victorious over the many. 

Or maybe it was that the oil that should have been enough for only one night lasted for eight days. 

Rabbi David Hartman suggests that particularly on the first night of Hanukkah, the miracle was even more powerful. He writes, “the miracle of the first day was expressed in the community’s willingness to light a small cruse of oil without reasonable assurance that their efforts would be sufficient to complete the rededication of the Temple.”[1]

 In other words, how incredible that in the face of destruction, darkness, and uncertainty, our people had the courage and strength to light a candle at all?
Each week, when Shabbat ends, we are challenged to step from the world as it ought to be and return to the world as it is: a world full of xenophobia and racism, suffering and loss. 

And yet every Friday, filled with hope, we come together and do it again, a small act of resistance against the status quo. 

Tonight we light the Chanukah candles, each one a symbol of the resilience of the human spirit and our capacity to create light, even when we have no guarantee of what will be. 

As we light our candles, we are reminded of our own strength and what and who help us find it.

Service Section: Candlelighting