As a Jewish kid raised in Ukraine, I love winter for its special days. While other friends were receiving presents for St. Nicolas day, I was waiting for Hanukkah with its unique dishes, traditions, history, and atmosphere.
However, lately, I’ve understood that those events back in the day have a lot in everyday things in our current time. Especially in my native country – Ukraine. While the invaders are trying to ruin Ukraine, brave hearts are fighting for both physical and spiritual freedom.
This war brought to all of u the understanding of the historical context, what it is to be the Maccabee family while there are people who want to bow down and agree to any steps of the invaders. What is more interesting is that most Ukrainians feel like Maccabees while the partners abroad propose to bow down to the invader.
These days, thousands of Ukrainian Jews stay in their native cities and towns, they are cut off from electricity and heating, but none of them are broken. With their neighbors, Ukrainians gathered in synagogues and community centers that became volunteer hubs during this war. And everyone looked at the Hanukkah candles and thought of small lights banishing the greater darkness surrounding the modern world.
These days dozens of Ukrainian squares are illuminated with the light of Hanukkah candles as a common symbol of resistance and inner power of the modern Ukrainian Jewish nations.