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Hanukkah and Optimism

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein

"eternal #optimism in the face of hopeless odds — this faith in the power of the few — is an idea that goes right to the heart of #Chanukah...

"On Chanukah, a small group of righteous people made a big difference, overcoming a mighty force. If good people with pure hearts and sincere intentions band together, even in small numbers, they can bring light and blessing into the world. God’s blessings can multiply the effect of the limited physical world like that small jar of oil that burned for so much longer, thereby spreading so much light in the world. This is the message of hope and optimism of Chanukah."

Yoram Ettinger is a former ambassador and head of Second Thought: A U.S.-Israel Initiative

"The first day of Hanukkah is celebrated when daylight hours are equal to the hours of darkness—and when moonlight is hardly noticed—ushering in brighter days: optimism.

"Hanukkah monumentalizes the critical role played by education in the vitality and survival of individuals and nations (the Hebrew words for Hanukkah and education share a similar spelling); the victory of light and faith over darkness (the Hebrew spelling of “darkness” consists of the same letters as “forgetfulness”); and the triumph of reality-driven optimism over wishful-thinking and pessimism, defiance of odds over political correctness/assimilation, and liberty over despotism."

Rabbi Aaron Frank

"Chanukah is a time where we can be inspired by and emphasize our religious legacy of optimism."

President Joe Biden

"In each successive generation, the Hanukkah story provides a powerful lesson and nourishes the wellspring of hope. In darkness, there’s light.  In cynicism, there’s hope and optimism and an unyielding belief that miracles are possible."

Rabbi Moshe Gurary of the Chabad House of Buffalo 

"Hanukkah is a symbol of light, hope, and optimism, and it's a great holiday to celebrate."

Jessy Dressin, senior director of Jewish Education for Repair the World.

"We invite you to join us, on your own time and in your own way, so that our work toward building a more just world may continue to grow. In this season, we embrace the hope and optimism that being part of this movement may instill, as we are also reminded that it will only be through our ongoing commitment to service and Jewish learning that we may truly repair the world."

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