Tonight the celebration of Hanukkah begins for my Jewish friends. It is that "other" December holiday in American life, the one that gets less attention than the one celebrated by the majority religion. It is a celebration that can get lost in the shuffle, but it is one we should affirm and welcome.
It is a holiday that remembers a community's resistance to forces that would destroy their identity and faith. For eight days, this festival of lights will remember the faithfulness of God during difficult times -- in this case the oppressive rule of the Selucid (Greco-Syrian) king Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
May these next eight days be a time of great blessing for the Jewish community, here and around the world.