Hanukkah reflection: Giving, helping, brings spark of hope in dark times | Opinion

As we light the Hanukkah candles this year, the flames carry a particularly profound meaning. We celebrate the miracle of the oil, a symbol of resilience and hope in the face of adversity. This year, however, our joy is tempered by the recent tragedy that befell our community, the massacre by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Our hearts ache for the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. Yet, even in the face of this darkness, the light of Hanukkah reminds us that hope must prevail.

Yet, even in the face of darkness, the Hanukkah story reminds us that a single spark can illuminate the path towards hope and resilience. Just as the Maccabees rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem, we, too, can rededicate ourselves to our mission of service and support for those in need. We can honor the victims of this terrible act by channeling our grief into acts of compassion and understanding.

Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, left, speaks next to Rabbi Levi Shemtov, during the National Chanukah Menorah lighting, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, on the ellipse of the White House in Washington.
Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, left, speaks next to Rabbi Levi Shemtov, during the National Chanukah Menorah lighting, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023, on the ellipse of the White House in Washington.

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Let us use this Hanukkah as an opportunity to:

  • Spread the light of hope: Let us reach out to those who are hurting and offer our support. Let us share the stories of our resilience and celebrate the beauty of our traditions.

  • Embrace unity: Let us stand together as a community, united in our support for one another and in our unwavering commitment to peace and justice.

  • Remember the victims: Let us honor the memory of those lost by ensuring their stories are never forgotten and by working tirelessly to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.

May the Hanukkah candles illuminate our path as we continue to work for a world free from hatred and intolerance. May their light bring comfort to those who grieve, and may it inspire us all to be agents of peace and justice. Let us draw inspiration from the courage of our ancestors and the resilience of the Jewish people. Let us embrace the message of Hanukkah – a message of hope, faith, and the enduring power of light over darkness.

Wishing you all a Happy Hanukkah and a season filled with light, love, and strength.

Marc Hopin
Marc Hopin

Marc Hopin is CEO of the Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service. Founded in 1974, Alpert JFS is a nationally accredited service provider for children, adults, seniors, and Holocaust survivors. The non-profit, non-sectarian organization delivers care to over 12,000 people each year, from Boynton Beach to Vero Beach.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Hanukkah reflection on spreading hope and light in darkness