As we light the menorah, it gives us time to reflect on what the dancing candle light means to each of us. The flickering flames that light up a cold, dark night give us hope for the future.  At this time, we remember the miracles of Hanukkah past and summon up our courage to face the future.

We hope that the strength of our convictions found in our prayers and songs protects us, our family, the Jewish people and the world from harm. This year, my Hanukkah wishes can be summed up best in the title of the Elvis Costello song, “what’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?”

1. I wish that good people in the world realize that evil always has existed in the world, still exists and will probably always exist.

2. I wish that civility replaces discourse in resolving our conflicts with each side understanding that the other’s position has value even if they disagree with it.

3. I wish that innocent people are spared from further death and destruction caused by terrorism because we have developed the courage to call it out and defeat it whenever it appears.

4. I wish that the Members of Congress gain the wisdom to act as our elected representatives to do what is in the best interest of the country not what the polls tell them is popular.

5. I wish that those who have significant financial means begin to use their extraordinary good fortune to help those who are not as fortunate rather than just continue to accumulate superfluous wealth.

6. I wish that we give more of ourselves, which is a gift that will last longer and be more meaningful, than a consumer item which is quickly tossed aside.

7. I wish that people will be judged for how they act and the way they make us feel rather than what they can do for us, their religion or their skin color.

8. I wish that we start to value human beings over land, religion or perceived wrong-doing so that armed conflict can be minimized.

“As I walk through

This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity.

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?”

Elvis Costello