The word Chanukah means to rededicate. Indeed, over the past number of months we have watched any number of people rededicate themselves to any number of things.
We’ve been inspired by healthcare providers rededicating themselves to their professions to keep us safe. Passionate educators stretch themselves to the limit and rededicate themselves to their students. Parents and grandparents rededicate themselves to family life. With a greater abundance of virtual learning opportunities, we’ve even managed to rededicate ourselves toward Jewish learning and a deeper level of commitment to our faith.
It’s easy to look at the world and to believe we see a Temple that is busy crumbling as the Maccabees did. But with all due respect, that’s not how I see it.
We cannot forget that every step forward always involves first taking a step backward. At this very moment, we are now busy looking down from the Temple balcony at ourselves. We are cleansing ourselves of all the idolatry and casting it out to the periphery.
Life today is certainly hard. Only I have no doubt that when history looks back on this moment, we will see Chanukah 5781 as a moment of great introspection, rededication and appreciation for one another.
Dan Dorsch is the rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim in Marietta.