Friday, 7 December 2012


Hanukkah contains so many ideas and is open to so many interpretations and modern re-imaginings that it's difficult to know where to start.

Is it about muscular Maccabean Judaism with heroic battles fought with God on our side? Or is about miracles in the Temple that prove that God never abandons His people? Has it become the Jewish answer to (secular) Christmas celebrations, a way to make sure the children don't feel left out of the present buying frenzy? Perhaps the real miracle (as the Rugrats Hanukkah special told us) is that we have spent more than two thousand years eating grated fried potatoes and donuts - and yet we have survived!

This year, I'm thinking about Hanukkah just in terms of light and darkness.

Each night, for eight days, we kindle one more tiny, fragile candle that burns gently for no more than twenty minutes.  And each night a little more darkness becomes illuminated. Slowly we light the way ahead and rededicate not an ancient temple but ourselves.

When it comes to Israel/Palestine we need all the light we can find and all of the rededication we can muster in our pursuit of peace with justice.   

For those readers not onboard for my first Hanukkah as a blogger, here's last year's reflections -

Maccabees, Miracles and Zionists...and how to get the balance right

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