The Proper Response to Darkness

“As long as Hanukkah is studied and remembered, Jews will not surrender to the night. The proper response, as Hanukkah teaches, is not to curse the darkness but to light a candle.”

Irving Greenberg

Much has been written about Hanukkah’s core message and symbols, and I don’t intend in this little blog to try to compete with any of those writings or the great minds that produced them.

I do want to point out that – at least in my time zone – Hanukkah arrives this year just a week shy (and a minute off) of the earliest Shabbat of the year. The day after next, we at EdibleTorah HQ will kindle the Sabbath flames at 4:39pm. Next week Friday will be the shortest for the entire year – with Shabbat starting at 4:38pm.

There is something engaging for me about this – it might be my penchant for all things comic book and sci-fi –  that we will be brightening the darkest days of the year. In my mind, the epic battle will be waged: Hanukkah is able to fight back the forces of darkness  (for at least 18 minutes, as the halacha of Hanukkah requires) for 8 days.

But  on the darkest day of all, Hanukkah will fall, unable to continue the fight. In that moment, it will be the light of Shabbat, not Hanukkah, that will prevail.

“…and I shall shed my light over dark evil.
For the dark things cannot stand the light,”

– from the original Green Lantern oath

May you have a bright Chag Urim Sameach…