“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe
On Monday, one of our employees got hurt on the job, so I took her to the doctor. While I was waiting I noticed this menorah. This time of year I never see seasonal decorations in public buildings except for Christmas trees and the like. I was pleasantly surprised to see this menorah. I found it comforting. Mind you, I’m not Jewish, but there was something vastly more moving about the menorah than, say, a Christmas tree. I’ve thought about this all week, after all, a Christmas tree signals the season that, for Christians, marks the birth of Jesus. It should be a time of contemplation. The problem is it has turned into such a commercial event that all reason for the season has sort of disappeared. The Christmas songs start earlier every year, same as the merchant displays of cards and decorations and ugly Christmas sweaters. It has become more about giving presents than anything spiritual. This is capitalism’s busiest season I suspect. The menorah marks Hanukkah or Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. It commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple. There is music, feasting, games, and gelt or money. That’s what’s placed here with the menorah. I understand the gelt of today is more often chocolate than real coins. Unlike Christmas, which falls on the 25th of December every year and we’re left looking at decorations for 4-6 weeks, Hanukkah can fall anywhere from late November to late December and lasts only eight days. That seems a much more reasonable time frame. And since there is no gifting, there’s little more than candles to sell. And maybe that’s why the menorah caught my attention. It’s really about the reason for the season and little else. I can respect that. Thank you, tiny menorah, for the lesson.