Weekly Message 29th December 2016

While planning our yearly Hanukkah party, we suspected we might have a smaller crowd than usual due to the holiday period. However this past Wednesday a great crowd of over 100 people came and enjoyed a lively Chanukah event.

I thank the social committee chaired by Ben Hoch for working hard in arranging this great event. I also thank those who gave from their time to bake, set up, and shop for the event.

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There is a certain tendency to indulge in the past and detach it from the present; “Things used to be better,” “times used to be better,” people use to be more like this… or more like that…nowadays it’s not the same…

“Kids these days” and so on. This attitude tears us away from the present, and we escape to the past to a mixture of reality and fantasy.

There is a similar attitude with our festivals, that they are interesting events that happened a long time ago, but they wouldn’t happen today. But if this is true, and the events of a festival are not reoccurring, then the Festival is irrelevant to a modern life. Just like anything outdated, it would ultimately vanish.

The Jewish attitude is that a festival and its’ message are current and relevant, and we must find a way to make it personal.

A humorous WhatsApp message drives this point home: “Imagine your mobile-phone battery had only 10% left and it lasted for eight days..” now do you understand the miracle of Chanukah??? 🙂

Modern day Israel is an ongoing Chanukah miracle. It is a tiny country continuously threatened by by its neighbours and it not only survives, but it thrives! It barely has any natural resources, but it built a thriving and innovative economy. This is not a natural phenomenon.

The question is whether we believe a small amount of something can outdo its natural expectation, it may be a small slot of time available for us to dedicate towards something important, or when we stand out as a minority in a group and we expect to be respected.

It may not be natural, but miracles do happen!

Dina and I wish you a happy Chanukah and a happy new year!