Last nights GOP debate provided one shining moment that might give hope to those of us who still have hope that all of the remaining candidates might come to understand what it is that they are seeking to become.
But, to find that moment required Dave to do something he hasn’t been very good at doing lately, that is start his weekly Torah study earlier and spend less time chasing threads and tangents. Since he managed to do it for once this week, what did he find that brought just a glimmer of hope?
It started when the Tabernacle was put together and dedicated by the Israelites in the desert. And happened again when Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem. It reminds us today that while respect for servants is required, it is also imperative that public servants understand the role of staves.
Moreover, what happens when a leader forgets his or her primary purpose and while claiming to do good, maybe even the will of the Deity, he or she is in fact, harming the people? Will they learn the lesson? Or will they just ignore it and hope that nobody notices?
There are actually nine candles on a Hanukkah Menorah. Why? Because somebody has to do the dirty work.
And when we look at the darkness around us, with newspaper articles both blaming the victims in San Bernadino and proclaiming that you love guns because you love slavery, it’s so easy to become jaded and forget our purpose and our goals.
But then there is that 9th candle, to remind us of the real ideas of Hanukkah: Rededication.
The story is, no doubt familiar to you, if not, then today I will recount the basic points to you. At it’s climactic moment, is the the small jar of oil, one day’s worth, for the rededication of the Temple, will burn not for a day, but for eight days and nights. Time is gained for the procurement of new and properly consecrated oil.
But when all is said and done, the Holy Temple – the building that Solomon built, but has been used for the past century as a garbage dump and as an altar to the Greek deity. Zeus, has been restored. It has been reclaimed for its true purpose.
The lesson should be clear to us today. In these dark times, against what seems to be insurmountable opposition, we can rededicate ourselves to the true purpose for which we have been called.
As we light each light, we can recommit ourselves, we can rededicate ourselves, to the cause of liberty.