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Spiritual Life: Chanukah – light dispels darkness

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 December 2017

Archant

This week beginning Tuesday evening (December 12) for eight continuous days, the Jewish world celebrates Chanukah – the festival of lights.

This miraculous victory, overcoming those who wanted to annihilate the Jews – culminating with the dedication of the Sanctuary in Jerusalem (165 BCE) – has been celebrated annually ever since by lighting the Chanukah Menorah. It also has a universal message to all people: expressing triumph of freedom over oppression, of spirit over matter, of light over darkness.

What do we learn from the Chanukah lights? Looking at everyday objects seems simple; after all they’re just there, what’s the big deal? But there is something about actually looking closely, taking notice, learning, analysing and finding G-d’s presence in all creations.

By lighting Menorahs in public places (including Gants Hill and Fullwell Cross roundabouts), they portray a relevant message that the forces of darkness which appear in many forms, are ever present. However, they also remind us that we as individuals and as a diverse community have the power to spread kindness and light. As our sages said: “A little light expels a lot of darkness.”

Each and every positive action represents light, which dispels more of the darkness surrounding us, thereby creating a brighter today and future for all.

The public menorah lighting will be taking place at Gants Hill Roundabout on Saturday December 16 at 7pm, in the presence of The Mayor of Redbridge and Wes Streeting MP.

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