Time to dig deep ahead of this year’s celebrations
The holiday season brings joy, fancy lights, and a plethora of green and red decor. Though I enjoy this form of holiday cheer, I gravitate toward the scarce blue and white lighting that floats around, the small but mighty and bright menorahs shining from apartment buildings, and dreidels strewn across tables.
I have always been a proud Jewish American, that written order is no accident. My Judaism has and will always come first, but this year brings a new kind of strength.
This year as I light my menorah proudly and with extreme gratitude, a sense of hopefulness will shine through as well. Since the atrocities of October 7th, hate, intolerance, and terror have flooded places you would never expect.
Employees are suddenly boycotting their places of work, blatant violence against Jews is happening on public transportation, and clear Anti-Semitism is alive and well.
While my heart has been split into a million pieces following October 7th, I have slowly put it back together by witnessing tiny, modern-day miracles and the unparalleled strength of my people.
While others are resorting to physical violence and hate speech, my people are rallying together to pray.
While others are boycotting, my people are supporting Jewish and Israeli-owned businesses.
While others are begging for context to understand what they believe is a “complex” issue in the Middle East, my people are raising money for supplies for the IDF and for toys and clothes to provide to displaced people in Israel.
As we enter this Hanukkah season with heavy hearts, it is important to honor the miracle that we have all witnessed daily since October 7th: the miracle of strength and resilience.
We do not back down, we rise up and above hate and violence, support one another, and move forward without looking back though it is not easy to do so.
I encourage you all to be prouder than ever this Hanukkah and shine your own personal light so brightly. Proudly display your menorahs, spend time with your loved ones, enjoy moments of levity and connection, and spread positive light.