Chanukah in Copley Square 2013 - December 4

Rabbi Mayer Zarchi-Chabad Boston

Good evening and a joyous and luminous Chanukah to all of you!

Honorable Governor Patrick; Acting Consul General of Israel to New England, Ronit Nudelman; City Counsellor Elect, and my good friend, Josh Zakim; our honored lamplighter, chairman of the Beal Company and Boston philanthropist, my dear friend, Mr. Robert Beal.

Esteemed Rabbis and leaders from across the greater Boston area, ladies and gentleman; and especially the children who are gathered with us here tonight: welcome to Chanukah in Copley square! A celebration of light, unity and liberty!

Tonight we celebrate the 8th candle of one of the great festivals of human freedom the festival of lights. The story of Chanukah has been well recorded as one of history’s most heroic and valiant movements for human liberty. Its chief protagonists, a band of young men and women taking hold of their covenantal destiny and staying true to its promise, saved their nation in every way that a nation can be saved both, spiritually and physically. Their names carved into our national collective memory in mankind’s continued pursuit for global liberation from governmental tyranny, Matithias, Judah, Simeon and yes, the widow of Btulah Yihudit and the rest of the Hasmonians, inspired in us an inborn freedom: Free to live the lives that God intended us to live.

One of the great teachers and luminaries of freedom, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, otherwise known simply as "The Rebbe", spoke of the Divinity of liberty and the sanctity of freedom as part of the providential architecture of man. The Rebbe explained that the eternal contribution that the Hasmonians made to civilization is that they ingrained the 8th candle of Menorah light into the naturalness of our humanity. The 8th! A numeric that transcends nature's cyclical 7. Thus enabling each and every one of us to metamorphose the darkness that we encounter in our lives with light. Therein lies the timeless Maccabean lesson: Never give in! Never give up! Stick together! Be strong! Know that even the sharp falls in life are divine trampolines catapulting us higher and higher into our reason detra for being.

Mr. Governor, last Chanukah, standing on this very podium, you said, and I quote: "Freedom IS Light! And may this light shine in our lives, in our communities, in our commonwealth and in our country, and indeed, into the hearts of those who are especially suffering all around the world." YES, this light will shine bright and illuminate the darkness, which cannot Withstand faith, which cannot withstand love, and which cannot withstand the boundless "8" of Menorah light.