Author’s note: Somehow, in the busyness of the season, publishing this got lost in the hustle and bustle. But I think no story that serves to illuminate the world has an expiration. I hope you enjoy these brief thoughts on trust and faith. 

By the time this is published, Hanukkah 2023 will be behind us, and Christmas will soon be upon us. Some think it unfortunate that Hanukkah falls between late November and December, occasionally falling on Christmas day, for fear of Christmas glitz taking away from the celebration of Hanukkah. I don’t agree. Both traditions celebrate love, trust, and faith; how very fortunate it is to have many people bring light into the world simultaneously!

We know Hanukkah as the story of the Menorah in the Temple. When the Jews returned to the Temple following the battle for the fortress of Antonius, there was enough olive oil to light the Menorah for one day. Yet, miraculously, it stayed lit for eight days, long enough to keep it lit until more oil could be produced. The more profound miracle is that there was enough faith and trust in God that there would be enough oil that it was lit. How wonderful is it that during a time of uncertainty and destruction, a group of people chose not to believe in what they thought they knew – only enough oil to last one day – but to believe in the unknown with an all-encompassing belief in God – Divine Light – and miracles, even when the miracle can’t be seen and only existed in their hearts and minds?

I won’t pretend I know what was going on in the minds of those in the Temple. As human nature seems to dictate, I suspect that not everyone agreed on whether to light what little oil there was and that there was a certain amount of animated discussion. There was grief upon observing the destruction in the Temple, and that grief manifested more destruction of both material things, such as the statue of Zeus – previously erected in the Temple by the Greeks, and the murder of those they held accountable. I wonder about who made the final determination. Who were the leaders who chose to break from the groupthink and take a chance on God and their devout faith? How powerfully they held their faith and trust in a greater good at a time when Jews were being separated within their beliefs, influenced by those wishing to assimilate them. The lighting of the Menorah was not about winning a war but rather about the Spirit of the people.

A lesson for us is that those who chose to light the Menorah saw themselves as they were. They decided not based on “External Information” but instead aligned their decision with the Divine Will and their Divine Self. This distinction is important to note and discuss if we are to bring peace to our world because every thought we have is manifested somewhere in the universe. Our ideas must come from a Higher Consciousness, not based on “should” but “why?”. A simplified example of the difference is thinking you need a new stove because you should have a prettier one versus wanting a new stove because you will create nutritious meals.

We can all bring light to the world. No effort is small, but every effort should be preceded with “why” and be sure the answer is from our Higher Consciousness.