The Story of Chanukah: "It's About the Light"

When Jews recall the Chanukah story of the day’s worth of oil that lasted for eight, we often forget that the miracle was not the extra mileage the Maccabees got from a few ounces of fuel.

The miracle was that the leaders of the newly independent Israel were willing to light the oil to rededicate the Temple—even though there was no guarantee they would realize that goal.

The story of Chanukah is not about the oil; it’s about the light. Had the Maccabees not taken those first uncertain steps, the light of their faith would not still be visible, more than 2000 years later.

Today, in the first era of Jewish independence since the time of the Maccabees, Shalom Achshav, Israel’s indefatigable peace movement, has not stopped, for one moment, advocating for the steps that will lead to an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians—a goal of two states at peace, and a secure, Jewish and democratic Israel.

(Peace Now's protest in Hebron from Friday. Sign says: "Opposing the Settlement in Hebron".)

Prime Minister Netanyahu is not focused on the light. Settlements continue to proliferate - just last week, alone, the Israeli government approved doubling the size of the settlement at Hebron, further placing the future of two states for two peoples in jeopardy. The government sits gridlocked, facing the prospect of a third, exhausting round of elections while the sitting prime minister faces criminal proceedings.

And yet, the light of Chanukah is no ordinary light. The light is to inspire us to never give in to darkness and to never give up hope. Shalom Achshav is the embodiment of this – they inspire us to never give up, to not wallow in despair.

Through your support, you can educate decision-makers and mobilize grassroots support for a two-state solution. Because it isn’t about the oil.

It’s about the light.