Dear TEE Community,

Happy Hanukkah! At this time of year, I always find it hard to believe that, although the days seem darker, they will soon be getting lighter. Our ancestors associated the reassurance of the solstice season with the survival of our tradition, despite times of hardship. In telling the story of the miracle of the oil, the rabbis emphasized the importance of spiritual, rather than military, victories in making that possible.

For that reason, it seems most appropriate at this time of year to appreciate those who make change through loving and peaceful means. Whether by marching in nonviolent protest or by fostering a child, whether by welcoming immigrants or braving a pandemic to vote — there are endless ways in which so many of us carry the flame of hope. As we light our Hanukkah candles, let us think about how we are a part of the dawning we celebrate.

Chag Sameach,

Rabbi Drorah Setel