A thought for Hanukkah

by Zehorit Heilicher, Tastemaker in Residence

A thought for Hanukkah

כל אחד הוא אור קטן…״ 
…וכולנו אור איתן 

“…Each one of us is a minor light
Joined, we are a light force…”

(“We came to Drive Away Darkness” 
Lyrics: Sara Levi-Tanay, Music: Emanuel Amiran)

Most Israelis’ childhood memories of Hanukkah include this song, commanding the darkness to depart as the light of Hanukkah is coming. As kids, we performed this song crowned with paper candle hats in front of grinning parents, stomping our feet and brandishing a cardboard sword. We were Maccabees fighting for our freedom and independence echoing the reality of the historical moment we were being raised in. 

Years later, the Israeli bands Subliminal and the Shadow (Hatzel) created a modern version of this popular song that calls for “two people hand in hand: shalom, Salam, Peace…” (You can find it Here) The realization has emerged for the need for the two nations, Israeli & Palestinian, to come together in a quest to eradicate darkness. 

Christmas and Hanukkah are holidays of twinkling lights and candle flames as families gather to celebrate, share food and cheer, creating memories that nourish our sense of community and belonging. During this holiday season, may we all open our hearts and our homes, embrace our freedom to disagree and remember to converse respectfully and openly, spreading light. 

May we remember that “…joined, we are a light force.”

Happy holidays!