Weekly message from
Rabbi A. M. Sufrin MBE
Yes friends its Friday again, and a special one this week being Chanukah.
It gets as busy as the High Holy days for Chabad worldwide, and here too at Chabad North East London and Essex it’s as busy as ever bringing the happiness of the Chanukah lights to each and every one of you in communities around Essex.
The public lighting ceremonies begin locally, Gants Hill – Saturday night, 7.30pm, Buckhurst Hill – Sunday 6.30pm, Loughton – Monday 6.30pm, concluding with Chigwell – Tuesday evening 6.30pm. Refreshments, fun for the children and of course latkas and doughnuts for all, come and join us be proud of this wonderful celebration, together we can make it really happen in large numbers.
Amongst the many message that Chanukah has for us is “The power of the individual”.
The Maccabees challenged the Greek strongholds against impossible odds. Numbers are estimated at six thousand against an army of forty thousand troops. Following great losses to the Greek army a second army was dispatched of sixty – five thousand troops. Under the leadership of Mattityahu, the Maccabees fought a hard and bitter battle. After three years and thousands of lives, Judea was finally free.
In our prayers during Chanukah we state that this was a victory of “few over the many”. Each Maccabee was a hero, essential to the victory.
One would think that in those days when the population of the world was so much smaller, a single individual would have the power to change the world. In fact we now see that the opposite is true. With the advent of the Technology and information that we have in our hands has really put enormous power into the hands of who ever wants it.
With all the madness within the world, the tragedies and massacres that we have read and heard about this week at the hands of evil men and women, we realise the power of darkness. However many times over is the power of light of any one of us to transform the entire world to good. A small child kissing a Mezuzah on the door of his / her house, an act of kindness and asking nothing in return, a sacrifice of convenience to benefit another – each of these things are as brilliant bursts of light in the night time sky. True, they make less noise, rarely are they reported in the daily news. But while darkness passes as the shadows of clouds on a windy day, this light lasts forever and leaves NO room for evil to remain.
Enjoy these special days and realise the power that we each have to make a real difference in a world which often looks dark and miserable.
Have a wonderful Shabbos and enjoy the rest of the Chanukah days.