Dvar Torah - Miketz

This is a special time of year

I love this time of year. It is not because I like breaking out the North Face or wearing gloves and hats. (even though I do) I love this time of year because of the inspiration.

Because Chanukah fits the Diaspora

Certain holidays just flow better in Israel. Sukkot for instance is better when every house in the neighborhood has one. It is hard to Sukkah Hop alone. Purim in Israel is easier as well. Costumes just work better in a group. Try dressing in a costume when that behavior is not supported by a holiday and see what happens.

But, Chanukah resonates in the diaspora. The message of Chanukah is publicizing the "Miracle of Light". A small group can make a difference. There are no odds that one cannot surmount. Dedication to the fundamental values of life is ultimately rewarded. A little light can dispel a lot of darkness.

Its theme is about sharing the light

The idea of sharing Chanukah is spelled out in the press. Just look at the paper. President Biden held a menorah lighting ceremony. Look in the press, it seems like every governor in the country took time out of their schedule to sing Maoz Tzur. Even Mayor Vaughn got on board. But, if we google public Menorah lighting ceremonies in Israel nothing comes up. I am sure Mr. Netanyahu lit a menorah this year. However, it is not news.

What light do you possess?

News is when we can cling to our customs, while among others. When we can burn a light that inspires the world, and when we realize that like Matisyahu, there is nothing that can stand in one's way if one has G-d.  The original Macabees faced a similar challenge. In their day it was hard to be an observant Jew. The Greeks had outlawed Shabbat and were waging a war against the Jewish people. Matisyahu could have assimilated, roasted his chestnuts, and given up. But, instead, he fought and we are living proof of his success. Think about the things that you would fight for, and get your gloves. Because if you don't... your ancestors will not share this legacy.