Chanukah is just days away. Most of us feel anything but festive. Every day brings fresh tears – for our hostages, for our soldiers, for our survivors and for our dead. Our children have internalized that monsters exist in real life and can come for them in their warm, safe beds. The horrific stories that continue to emerge will haunt us, collectively and individually, for generations to come.
We have been crying and mourning and raging, utterly incredulous each day anew, for the past two months. Every day, every hour, every minute. We yearn for Shiri, Yarden, Ariel and baby Kfir. We count for Hersh with the Goldberg-Polins. And so many more.
How can we celebrate anything at a time of such unprecedented catastrophe?
Notwithstanding, we must celebrate everything – celebrate with genuinely happy moments that we forge for ourselves and our families, through our anxiety and fear.
In the midst of our sadness, fury and demolished sense of security, we must take baby steps to reclaim our joy – to reclaim ourselves. We must give ourselves permission to celebrate whenever we possibly can and believe that celebration is not a betrayal or a lessening of our pain. Celebration is now an imperative – a commandment, if you will.
That is a tall order – one that this writer has largely failed at.
Celebrate Everything – as a prescriptive and a prophylactic against despair.
Celebrate Everything – as an act of resistance against both the unfathomable evil of October 7 and the shameful insistence of the world to condemn us, instead of the terrorist perpetrators.
Celebrate Everything – to honor the memories and the legacies of those brutally murdered and our soldiers, who fell to protect us and our loved ones.
Celebrate Everything – without guilt, through our tears.
Celebrate Everything – so our little ones will have indelible, happy memories to carry forward into their lives.
Celebrate Everything – to seek the joy that will not come naturally this year and is likely to elude us for a long time ahead.
Celebrate Everything – to envelope ourselves in the presence of our loved ones, newly reminded that we must never take them for granted.
Celebrate Everything – to radiate as much light and love as we can possibly muster in our shared darkness.
Celebrate Everything – because that is the Jewish way.