Hanukkah: How to Hold On to Hope When all Else Seems Lost
Did you know that it is during the darkest time of the year when the Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights? And that is no coincidence. Because only against that backdrop of darkness can we truly appreciate light.
In this special Hanukkah episode, host Yael Eckstein will explore this season in which Jews remember miracles that happened throughout their history and miracles that are still happening today! As we’ll learn in this powerful episode, Hanukkah reminds us that no matter how dark things may be, we can still find the light.
No matter how impossible things may seem, God can make miracles happen. Listen now!
In today’s episode, host Yael Eckstein explores the deeper meaning surrounding the special season of Hanukkah, which lasts for eight days and eight nights. During this time, Jews remember one of the darkest times in their history—around the year 165 BCE, when the Greeks took control of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. But Hanukkah also recalls the light and miracles that occurred—when a weak and outnumbered group of faithful Jews called the Maccabees miraculously defeated the mighty Greek army and regained control of the Holy Temple.
Yael turns to Scripture to show us that there is always hope, even amid the darkness: “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light” (Micah 7:8).
This verse—which tells us, “the LORD will be my light”—is exactly what Hanukkah is all about. You see, with their trust in God, the Maccabees won the war, but when they entered the Temple, they saw how badly the Greeks had desecrated the holiest place in the world, and they were brokenhearted. All they could find was one flask of pure oil—which was only enough to light the menorah for one day. It would take another week to produce more pure olive oil to keep the menorah burning as commanded in the Bible. (See Exodus 27:20-21.)
But the miracle of the first night was that the Maccabees lit the menorah anyway. The Maccabees dared to hope that something miraculous might happen—and it did. God allowed the menorah to stay lit for all eight days of Hanukkah! In this powerful episode, we will learn how to apply the lesson of Hanukkah to our own lives: When we look to God, there is always light in the darkness, there is always hope, there are always miracles!