Mental Health Menorah

Hanukkah is a celebration of resilience, both physical and emotional, in the face of overwhelming odds.

Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal and continue moving toward their goals. (Psychology Today)

In the Hanukkah story, the Maccabees — the Jewish defenders of their faith and homeland — stood up against overwhelming odds and faced their Greek oppressors who severely outnumbered them. Following their victory, the Jewish people returned to the Temple and discovered that the oil for the holy menorah had seemingly vanished. After desperately searching for some oil to light the menorah, they found just enough for one day. Despite a seemingly hopeless predicament, they lit it. Miraculously, it burned for eight days.

Throughout history, the Jewish people have faced adversity again and again. But with hope and resilience, we have refused to give up, and we ultimately succeed. Even the dreidel represents resilience, as it spins without knowing where it will land and what will happen when it does.

Now, as we light our menorahs, let's consider the ways we are building strength and resilience to be like the Maccabees. Only then can we persevere through the challenges that confront us. Download the full resource here.

Service Section: Chanukah