You Don’t Have To Be Jewish To Enjoy Latkes
You don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Latkes and you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy Chanukah’s lessons and miracles.
Here are some of the lessons that apply to all
Jews all over the world are now celebrating Chanukah, the celebration of many miracles. From the victory of a small band of men fighting for their religious freedom against a very large and well equipped army, to one days worth of olive oil used to light the Menorah which then lasted for eight days.
The miracle of the oil burning for eight days represents the victory of light over darkness, both literally and figuratively.
At nighttime, Jews place their lit Menorah in doorways or windows to bring light to the dark street and to all who see it.
“A little light will dispel much darkness.” — Tzeda LaDerech
“Such is the way of creation: First comes darkness, then light” – Talmud Shabbat 77b
On the Menorah is a head candle called the Shamash, which is used to light all the other candles. The Shamash lights other candles without losing any of its own light. Each of us can be like the Shamash and bring light to all whose lives we come into contact with. When we are like the Shamash, not only do we keep our light, we actually shine brighter. We all have that power through acts of goodness, kindness, and charity.
“From one burning candle many candles are lit, yet its own light is not diminished.” – Numbers 11:17
Here is another powerful and universal message from Chanukah, the miracle of light.*
Of all the special qualities of a pretty and delicious olive, its essence is found in its oil when lit, producing its light. In order to get to the olives essence, it must first be crushed to produce the oil.
So too in our lives, we sometimes are or feel crushed – by pain and suffering, loss, struggle, and disappointment – and just like the olive, it is then that our essence can be revealed. It is in those moments that you may find your essence and with it bring your light to the world.
Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas
and to all a good light
*Based on a teaching of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson