Lighting Hannukah Candles – the Anti-Defamation League

December 9, 2015

Good evening

Regretfully, we are not now at home with our four children.

Whoever speaks in public during Hannukah refers to the advantages of a small light banishing a great darkness.  That is clear, and we do not think that we have anything new to say on this matter, either substantively or figuratively.

Instead, we thought to use this stage you have given us to warn against lights that are too bright.

When someone, a man or group of people, are convinced they have seen the light, that everything is clear and well understood, that their way is the enlightened way, we wish to warn them and caution against them.

Lights that are too bright – burn.  When people carry torches that are too big – either virtual, let alone real ones – serious fires break out, and we all know what happens when ideas and opinions go up in flames.

The murderer of our daughter was convinced of his path and was sure that his evil deed would shine a great light on Jerusalem.  But it was a fire that taught us how much darkness is in the hearts of those who carry it.

Had the fire that the murderer, his supporters, and inciters sought to ignite been smaller, had there been a place in their hearts for doubt, had they looked a little farther than the tips of their noses – beyond the circle of mendacious fire they had lit and which blinded them – we would be lighting the candles with all four of our children today.

We are here, and all we have left to do is warn against lights that are too bright, against the exaggerated assurance in the justice of the cause, against the willingness to ignite a fire that will burn others and keep the darkness intact.

Thank you for seeing fit to remember and commemorate, and thank you for inscribing our Shira in your hearts.

We wish you all a Happy Hannukah and to emerge from the darkness to a great light.