Yom Rivii, 18 Elul 5779
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Chanukkah Sameach!

A Talmudic midrash tells of Adam’s horror when the world’s first winter began to draw in. Having never experienced the changing of the seasons, he thought the darkness would last forever, saying, “Woe is me, perhaps because I have sinned, the world around me is being darkened and returning to its state of chaos and confusion; this then is the kind of death to which I have been sentenced from Heaven!” He therefore embarked on an eight day fast. But as he observed the winter solstice and noted the days getting increasingly longer, he said, “This is the world’s course”, and he set forth to keep an eight days’ festivity. That festivity, according to the midrash, was Hanukkah. Yet every year when winter arrives, and the days get darker, it can still come as a shock, even though we know in our hearts that spring will return. Hanukkah reminds us that even in darkness there is light. But the question remains – is the memory of spring enough to keep us warm while winter reigns?