While pre-Chanukah celebrations kicked off with a bang at last Friday night’s Shabbat service, it is this Sunday night that we will kindle the candles for the first night of Chanukah.
Growing up it never felt like a statement to have a menorah shining brightly from our front window – it’s just what we did.
However, today, I field lots of questions surrounding an uneasiness about publicly displaying our Jewish identity.
With rising antisemitism today, to place our menorah in the window does feel like a statement. But just like we have a mezuzah outside our front door, placing a menorah in the window is a declaration that we are proud of our Jewish identity and that in the darkness of winter we want to bring more light to the world.
When we place a menorah in the window this Chanukah, we make the following declarations:
- We are proud to be Jewish and will not live in fear.
- Despite threats against our communities and people throughout history, we know our purpose is to spread light. Sometimes, those facing the most darkness need to see the light shining bright.
- Judaism is vital to our home, our community, and the next generations
- We trust our neighbors to love us and watch out for us so that we can fulfill the American dream of the freedom to practice our religion.
I hope you’ll join me, proudly displaying your Chanukah menorah for all to see.
Shabbat Shalom and an early Happy Chanukah,