Ruth Lieberman

Moral Clarity? Oh, Yes

It’s the last night of Chanuka, the festival of lights. For eight days, we enjoy a little extra spirit, joy, literally adding light in our lives as we light our menorahs. Each night we add one candle, one more light to burn and inspire. Yes, we remember the miracle of the oil, a tiny amount discovered in the destroyed Temple in our capital city of Jerusalem, providing light for the menorah for eight more days.

This miracle of hope, of belief in God above, in knowing right from wrong, is oh-so-relevant for today. As we face a Goliath of hatred, on our borders and around the world, in all its forms – we know what is right and we won’t lose track. We won’t lose faith either, in our boys, fighting on many fronts, the modern day Maccabees protecting the Jewish people, and our nation’s homeland. It’s a fight for the ages and once again we are called upon to step up. Our family members take up weapons in many forms – fighting for the release of dearly beloved or even strangers who are held hostage by Hamas in Gaza; supporting each other as young wives worried for their newlywed husbands, or busy taking care of their young children, asking ‘Where’s Abba?’ as this war continues past the two-month mark; serving on community special forces or in long-term reserve duty on a cold, dark stakeout.

Two months is a long time to worry about our families, and to keep the home front together. While our boys are proudly serving, often unable to call home and send a simple ‘I’m alright’ to us moms, we do try. But it is difficult, and even harder with the calls for Israel to ‘find moral clarity, to do the right thing; to ‘lessen the conflict.’

Have we lost our collective minds? October 7th was a black day, an indescribably unbelievable day, one we would not believe if our eyes have not been able to disprove the horrors of Hamas on innocent people of absolutely every age. Our battle is not just a response for the people of southern Israel murdered and burnt in their homes, but for all of you. And me. All of us. Hamas hatred has focused on Israel but we are all the targets of terrorism as it spreads, and we must all recognize this in order to beat it, together. 

Middle to older aged readers here (no worries, I’m included! ) will recall the moral clarity that the West Wing’s President Bartlet (a pragmatic Democrat, no less) presented to the world. Now that’s a proper response: 

What is the virtue of a proportional response? – The West Wing

West Wing’s President Bartlet’s message for the ages

Yes, we Israelis are a bit angry. Angry that our sons have to put their lives on the line. Angry that the world doesn’t fully understand the threat that Israel is acting against – indeed, to protect us all. And yet, the holiday of Chanuka and the seasonal cheer of this time of year is an indication of our human spirit. Our determination to see the good, to seek solutions, to believe in the future.

Am Yisrael Chai – the people of Israel live. And another phrase you might have heard repeated: The eternal People are not afraid of a long road. One more – together we will win. That’s the billboard message spread across our dear, small country. United, we can achieve most anything. 

How true. Together in spirit, in light, in celebration of all that is good and keeping our eye on the long-term ball. World, we have your back. Happy holidays. 

About the Author
Ruth Lieberman is an Israeli-based political consultant and licensed tour guide, combining her love of Israel with political acumen to better Israel's standing both at home and in the eyes of the world. She has consulted for political leaders in Jerusalem and in Washington, from work on election campaigns to public advocacy and events. Her tours in Israel connect Biblical history to modern realities, to highlight Israel's achievements and promote its policies. She's also added 'archaeologist' to her title, working on an advanced degree in the field.