Hanukkah is the Festival of Light. But what is light? It is the good, friendly relations among people. This is what the Jews must show the world. This is the meaning of being “a light unto the nations.” The people of Israel must first unite, and through that unity bring out the light of love. This is achieved through a special education, and once it has been achieved, it is our duty to pass it on to the rest of humanity. This week of Hanukkah is an ideal time for Jews everywhere to ponder how to fulfill their role in these troubled times, to truly become “a Light unto the Nations.”
#2 The first thing we need to fix are the broken relationships between us. We can start by not doing to others what we ourselves hate. All the Jewish holidays represent stages in the process of correction of our relationships. The people of Israel first have to perform it on themselves, then convey that form of behavior to the rest of the world. Hanukkah symbolizes the first stop on this path. At this first point a person doesn’t really have to love others but needs to feel connected.
#3 The Greeks in the Hanukkah legend represent our ego. It’s simply that each of us wants to be independent, disconnected from others. We want to run and find some safe haven where we don’t need to care about anything or anyone else. Yet this is impossible. But if we try to connect slightly above our egos, we will begin to feel the internality of life, this special energy in the world, and we will attain this wonderful feeling of perceiving the whole of reality, including much that is currently hidden from us.
#4 What is the miracle of Hanukkah? It is when a person can find in him or herself the slightest, tiniest spark that ignites the process of correction, where one wants to become a giver, positively connected to others, and achieve love of others.
#5 Hanukkah stands for the first stage of correction where a person stops hating everyone. Jewish people especially need to think whether they are providing a good example to others. In other words, Jews must set an example of unity and mutual guarantee to the world. This is the meaning of being “a light for the nations.”