The Chanukah story happened over 2,500 years ago and commemorates the victory of the small Jewish rebels called the Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek (Seleucid) Empire who tried to prevent the Jewish people living in the Land of Israel from practising Judaism.
At that time, the Temple in Jerusalem had been ransacked by the Selucid army and as the Jewish people set about restoring it, they found only one cruse of pure oil with which to light the special candelabra which stood in the Temple called the Menorah. The problem was that this cruse of oil would only last for one day and it took eight days to prepare more oil. Yet a miracle occurred and the oil lasted for a full eight days, allowing the Jewish people to rededicate the Temple. This is why Jewish people celebrate by lighting candles each night to remind us of this miracle.
We take many messages away from this story. When we struggle with our own personal difficulties and challenges, we may feel that a darkness has descended over our life. The nature of darkness is that it causes disorientation and makes it difficult for us to see a way through by ourselves. Sometimes it needs someone on the outside to provide light to help navigate past these difficult times. That is what the Canary Wharf Multifaith Chaplaincy is for. Whenever we are called on, we try to bring a little light to the darkness of others in order to help them navigate through life’s darker moments.
The photo was taken at a Clifford Chance Chanukah party!
Wishing you and your family Happy Chanukah!
Rabbi Moshe Freedman