Chodesh Tov everyone!
I pray your Hanukkah has been filled with light and gladness...We are entering the month of Tevet where am Yisrael have the task to carry the light of Hanukkah into the upcoming days. We will celebrate renewal once again in Sh'vat (stay tuned...)
In the meantime, there are lessons to carry from Hanukkah that we are given space to reflect on in the seemingly "empty" month of Tevet (apart from one minor fast day on the 10th).
1. Our particularity has universal implications
The Jewish people live as a reminder of a unique relationship with God, one that is constantly growing and bearing fruit. Without the Jewish people, we could not consider God as faithful or loving (heaven forbid!). any time a nation or ideology comes up to espouse universalism at the expence of particularity the root of all things good in this world is removed: Love. Love requires particularity. I do love all people, but I also love my family uniquely. I care for both and one group does not have intrinsic value over the other but my focus is on my family. Without the uniqueness of love, there is no God of the Bible. God loves creation. God loves humanity uniquely among creation. God loves those who draw near uniquely among all people. God loves the ekklesia uniquely among those who draw near. God loves the Jewish people uniquely. God loves Mashiach Yeshua as the embodiment of all, uniquely.
Let us all never forget this in a world in love with universalism that the love of the all can only be real when there is the ability and acceptance of unique love.
2. Assimilation will not save us
The Jewish people cannot become more "palatable" to the world by assimilating. It is only in being who we are, deeply and fully that we can hope to represent God in this world.
Let us carry this into Tevet. When our hanukkiot are no longer lit may we be living hanukkiot when the Hanukkah products are taken off the shelves, and the token ode to our people has been forgotten.
3. A little light goes a long way
It doesn't take much light to light up a dark room. It doesn't take large numbers to keep the Spirit of God and our people alive. As our brothers and sisters in the Church worldwide will remind us on the 18th of Tevet (this year) it only takes one birth to change the world!