One of the miracles of being a teacher is that there seems to be a never-ending supply of food that appears in the teachers’ lounge. My school is no exception, and every Wednesday we have the further treat of special breakfast provided by staff members. Each little group has its own theme; some groups pick Halloween and some pick Thanksgiving. We have patriotic breakfast themes and we have sports themes. On December 1, 2010, we celebrated the first day of Hanukkah.
I feel very privileged to work with colleagues who understand and respect the diversity of humankind. It does not offend me that the religious holiday of many of my friends was honored in my public school teachers’ lounge. On the contrary, it makes me recognize the miracle of living in a large city where diversity is the norm rather than the abnormal. At Christmastime, when Christians are celebrating our own miracle, I find it good for my spirit to be reminded of the miracle of light that Jesus himself must have celebrated.
Rabbi Laura Geller presents both a historic and a modern-day reflection on the miracle of Hanukkah in her article in the Huffington Post. In it, she discusses the courage that the Jews had to escape Egypt and to have faith for their future.
“What is the real miracle of Hanukkah? It is the miracle of human courage that empowers us to take risks for the future even in our imperfect, uncertain world. It is the courage, even in the darkest of times, to create our own light.”
On this 24th day before Christmas, remember that each of us can create our own small light in a dark world that desperately needs courage and faith for the future. With all of us working together, respecting our differences and celebrating our oneness, we can create a new miracle.