- When you are faced with overwhelming odds and things are at their bleakest, I hope you will act anyway. I hope you will do what is right, you will work for change, you will take bold chances and you will trust in your strength, the strength of your family and community, and the strength of your God or your spiritual path to help you see it through.
Both Yehudit and Yocheved stepped forward in strength when faced with overwhelming opposition and both won the freedom of their entire people.
- When you stand up in defense of what is most precious to you, whether that is your family, your faith, your people, or your freedom, I hope you will find the strength to fight whatever battle comes with all that you have: every skill, every talent, and every shred of opportunity, no matter how small. I hope whatever the outcome, you will be secure in the knowledge that you did the best you could do.
Both Yehudit and Yocheved stood in defiance of oppressors, one to protect her community and one to protect her son. Both prevailed and are honored for their successes to this day.
- When faced with hard choices, may you find the strength to do what is right even when your knees tremble, even when the voice in your own head doubts. May you find the opportunity to act from boldness. May you find the sweet taste of honeyed courage instead of the bitter draught of fear.
Both Yehudit and Yocheved faced heart-wrenching choices and somehow found the courage they needed, one to slay a fearsome leader with his own stinging blade and one to send her infant son into the mercurial arms of the River Nile.
- When you are alone in the moment, beyond all help and all hindrance, may you find that ultimate connection, that oneness with the wider Universe, that place of expansion into the spiritual consciousness of us all and may you honor it. Honor it with words or tears or actions. Honor it with time and devotion and intention.
Both Yehudit and Yocheved stood poised, alone in the silence of a breath. One held a sword raised above Holofernes’ slumbering head, one held her son out of the Nile’s unknowable currents. Each gave that breath to God, with petition and praise, hope and humility, awareness and awe, and each alone knew what that breath gained them.
Happy Chanukah! May this Festival of Light show you the light you are to others and may it reflect back to you, brighter than you imagined it could.