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An Inspiration for Hanukkah

Winter has come, and with it the days have grown colder and shorter. The trees have resigned their leaves, the grass has been lulled to sleep and lost its color, and the warm sunlight of summer has retreated in place of a weak and apathetic replica of the same. Darkness pushes ever so firmly against the light that it seems the days are but a single breath between the long nights. Peering beyond frosted glass, the frozen blackness consumes any light too weak to withstand its shadowless embrace. A deafening silence settles in among the houses and trees, gently smothering the distant sounds of fading traffic. Outside all is cold, dark, depressing. Yet, it appears a minuscule and lonesome light flickers in the distance through a frozen window. Barely visible, the flame of a single candle dances to a silent, pulsating melody. In stark contrast to the bleakness of a winter night, this candle frantically struggles to give forth its light while swaying and swooning to keep time with a song only it can hear.

But if we look longer and more intently we make out another window also with a single candle, another small, flickering flame waging war against the harsh winter night. And if we look harder, we see another, and yet another. It seems there are battles of light and darkness being fought all around, a virtual war zone in which the outwardly insignificant flames of individual candles are beginning to press back the darkness. The night is becoming brighter, and a once hopeless cause now seems to be coming to life, lead by these individual flickering flames dancing to the same silent song.

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