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Thought for the Day Rabbi Fishel

Rabbi Fishel discusses Chanukah and reflects on it's importance in 2020 in this second podcast in our Thought for the Day series.



Chanukah: A Thought for the Day


Hello, I am Fishel Cohen and welcome to a Thought for the Day. 

This week Jews, throughout the world will be celebrating the festival of Chanukah. 

Chanukah commemorates the liberation of the Jewish people 2159 years ago from many years of oppression at the hands of the ancient Syrian Empire under the rule of Antiochus IV. 

Not only did the regime of Antiochus persecute the Jews physically, but they also denied them the right to religious freedom, forbidding many Jewish practices, those caught practicing were often killed. They went on to conquer the Temple in Jerusalem, despoiling it and turning it into a shrine to Hellenism. 

Under the leadership of Judah the Maccabee, the Jews fought back, eventually they were successful in winning back control over Jerusalem and the Temple. 

On their return to the Temple they purified and rededicated it. When it came to lighting the 7 branch candelabra, the Menorah that was lighten each day in the Temple, they only found one jar of pure oil, enough for the lights to burn for just one day. However miraculously the lights lasted for 8 days until a new supply of oil was obtained. 

In Jewish homes across the globe on each of the nights of the festival, special Chanukah lights are lighten, one on the first night, adding one each night until all 8 shine brightly on last night. 

Let me share with you one of the messages that we can take from the Chanukah lights. 

The nature of light is to dispel darkness. If you light one small candle in a dark room, it lights up the whole room. 

Our world is sometimes like a dark room. At present we are going through dark times, with so much suffering, isolation, loneliness and uncertainty. With each good deed we do for another person, whether by helping them, messaging or phoning or even just smiling at them, we not only lift some of the darkness from the recipient, but we contribute towards making the whole world a brighter place. 

Happy Chanukah