The Festival of Lights will soon be upon us, but it is a dark time for the Jewish people. We recently witnessed the horrific scenes of the slaughter perpetrated by Hamas in Israel and the abduction of children, women and men. This vile hatred has spread like a malignant cancer and has led to an exponential rise in antisemitism around the world.
When the Maccabees stood up to those who sought to suppress Jewish life and traditions and found the Temple in ruins, they persevered. With only enough oil to light the Menorah for one night, they didn’t lose faith. Tragically, the story of Hanukkah takes on greater relevance and urgency this year.
We are all heartened that some points of light have been able to penetrate the darkness with the release of dozens of individuals who had been held captive, and we pray for the speedy release of all the remaining hostages.
It is my fervent hope that you are fortunate enough to be able to celebrate Hanukkah with your loved ones, and that the light of the Menorah will illuminate a path toward better days ahead for us all.
With warmest wishes to you this Hanukkah.
Ronald S. Lauder
World Jewish Congress