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  • Hillels of Georgia

Rabbi Larry Sernovitz's Chanukah Message for 2023

The Atlanta Jewish Times (November 29, 2023)

Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit…”” Zechariah (4:6)

These inspirational words have always reminded me that no matter what we encounter, we are never really alone. Throughout Jewish history, we have faced challenge after challenge, loss after loss, and have still somehow found the spiritual power and strength to endure. Hope is in the DNA of the Jewish people and is the secret sauce that has allowed us to rise up time and time again. Not unlike, the story of Chanukah, life since October 7 has been excruciatingly painful but instead of destroying us, it made us stronger as a people. Even more so, it reminded us that the most effective way of dealing with Jew hatred is to embrace our identity and be proud of the values that have grounded us. The Jewish soul is deeply spiritual and was created for moments like this.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, z’l once wrote that, “For it is spirituality that teaches us that life is sacred, that there is more to happiness than the pursuit of wealth, power, success or fame, and that though life is short we can, at blessed moments, experience the transformative power of joy giving us a sense of eternity in the midst of time.” Each day is indeed sacred and by enriching the world with the beauty and joy of Jewish life, by taking pride in who we are and what we stand for, we will continue to repair the world and make it a better place. Let the world see your greatness. Time waits for no one so let’s get going. As Rabbi Hillel once taught, “If not now, when?”

To see the original article, CLICK HERE.

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