This year, Hanukkah holds a special meaning.
We’re locked inside due to a global pandemic, and like the other winter holiday celebrations, we won’t be able to gather with friends and family.
For those who don’t know, Hanukkah is the Jewish “Festival of Lights,” which celebrates the Jews’ escape from assimilation by the Greeks. Upon taking back their Holy Temple, they found only a day’s worth of oil to keep light that then miraculously lasted eight days.
Now, in modern times, we celebrate this holiday by lighting a Menorah every night for eight days, and of course, with delicious potato latkes and Sufganiyot.
I think about what Hanukkah means to me now. I think about how we can come together as a community and find light within these dark times.
To me, Hanukkah is a celebration of resilience, freedom, and finding strength when the odds are against us.
And isn’t that exactly what we’re all going through right now?
In honour of this Festival of Lights, here are 10 quotes to help us through the darkness:
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” ~ Unknown
(This quote is often misattributed to Anne Frank. And while the real author is unknown, the sentiment is still inspiring.)
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~ Maya Angelou
“Never fear shadows. They simply mean that there is a light shining somewhere nearby.” ~ Ruth E. Renkel
“The most incredible thing about miracles is that they happen.” ~ G. K. Chesterton
“To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, every cubic inch of space is a miracle.” ~ Walt Whitman
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
“This is the season when people of all faiths and cultures are pushing back against the planetary darkness. We string bulbs, ignite bonfires, and light candles. And we sing.” ~ Anita Diamant
“But I also say this: that light is an invitation to happiness, and that happiness, when it’s done right, is a kind of holiness, palpable and redemptive.” ~ Mary Oliver
“And as you lean into
Light, be gentle with the word ‘darkness.’
For more than it merely means wrong or bad,
it is also the color of a full, starless night sky,
and actual bodies of human beings
who have been overlooked too many times.”
~ Morgan Harper Nichols
And a bonus: “When life gives you potatoes, make latkes.” ~ Unknown