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For the past few nights we have lit one candle, then another and another, adding another each day to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah.

Although we ostensibly are commemorating a miracle that happened long ago, I believe that the true goal of lighting all of these candles is to bring the blessing of increased light into our lives and our world. To create modern miracles.

It is hard to dispel the darkness that is bred by hatred and fear. Especially in weeks like this one, when a teenager took a gun to school and murdered innocent classmates. Miracles seem out of reach, as does God.

These are the times we so desperately need the light of love and caring, the light of concern for one another, and the light of freedom and justice. And the light of God.

Rainer Maria Rilke wrote:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

Light is fundamental to life. And God’s light is fundamental to our souls.

To believe in the power of light is the lesson of Hanukkah. To make possible the rekindling of hope, of holiness, of God’s light, even in the worst of times, is miraculous.

We often find ourselves contrasting light and dark. I do it all the time. But I am reminded of Elie Wiesel’s thought about the opposite of love, of life, of art, and of faith. The opposite of each is indifference.

The opposite of light is not darkness. It is indifference.

Hanukkah will end in a few days. The light of Hanukkah must continue to shine. It’s up to us.