Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


This Hanukkah, Replace Fear with Purpose and Hope

posted by Brad Hirschfield

For more than twenty centuries Hanukkah has celebrated the triumph of purpose and hope over fear and despair. In these troubled times, times of economic uncertainty and expanding security threats, maintaining that ancient perspective is more important than ever.
From the Maccabees’ decision to fight on the Sabbath, to a rabbinic Judaism that even the Sages themselves admitted would have been in many ways unrecognizable to Moses, we have a rich tradition of responding to the biggest challenges we face with real faith, not only in the past, but in the future as well. That tradition continued from Maimonides whose philosophical works were initially scorned, to the first followers of the Ba’al Shem Tov who were branded as heretics, to the early Zionists who dared to believe that Jews could build a state of our own.
All responded to the need of the moment rather than bemoan an imagined inability to respond to the challenges they faced or how the moment in which they lived would require a departure from that which had been. Each reconnected to a larger sense of purpose, nurtured hope, and discovered real success when things looked rather hopeless for the Jewish people or the world.
Each of the people above took chances by departing from the past thought or practice, not as a betrayal of the past, but as a fulfillment of its deepest values. And in each case, they also created a future which kept the past alive. Hanukkah reconnects each of us to that tradition of scared heresies, fueled by hope, which drive out the fear and despair that can overtake us in difficult times.
The Talmud (BT Sot. 31a) teaches that “one who acts from love is greater than one who acts from fear.” So we need to allow our love of what could be to be greater than our fear of what is. We need to allow that kind of love to fill our homes and our hearts as we light the Hanukkah candles, especially this year.
Getting past our fears is never easy, especially in difficult times.


The best responses to tough times typically require the kind of imagination which fear – especially fear about our own vulnerabilities – constrains. It may be the vulnerability we experience in tough economic times, the vulnerability we experience when enemies of the Jewish people loom large, or the vulnerability we experience when trying to maintain relationships with friends and family whose actions have hurt us.
In each case, when we focus more on what we have than on what we have lost, on the strength we possess, and on the love which still binds us to those with whom we may deeply disagree, new solutions to our problems emerge. That’s what sacred heresies are – they are the previously unimagined ways in which we can more effectively respond to the challenges we currently confront.
And from Judah Maccabee to Theodore Herzl, we have real examples of being able to see unimagined possibilities when one loves who they are more than they fear who they are not or the enemy they face. And when we are that in touch with our hopes for the future and the love of those whom we hope will share it, we find the strength in ourselves and in those sacred heresies which assure the future of our families, our people, and our world.
We, as individuals, as communities and as a people, need to give ourselves the permission that our heroes from the past allowed themselves. When we do, we will discover the inner strength to accomplish for ourselves and for others, as much as they did. Like a small army, a few lone teachers, or a little jar of oil, it actually doesn’t take much to help make big things happen.
This Hanukkah we should declare a moratorium on all projections of doom for the Jewish people. Instead we should ask ourselves what challenges we are personally willing to help address. We should ask ourselves what we would like to make happen in the coming year. Forget all of the “good” reasons we can’t. Instead we just locate the desire and whatever we have within ourselves to begin moving in that direction. Who knows? In a century or two we might appear on some list like the one above, as people who changed the world for better by replacing fear with lives of purpose and hope.
And don’t forget to look on Windows and Doors every day, beginning Sunday, for your W and D Hanukkah presents - one for each candle of the holiday. Every day of Hanukkah will bring a new story to share, accompanied by a few questions to stimulate your soul and help you to enjoy this wonderful holiday.
Wishing that the Festival of Lights bring you joy, purpose, meaning and hope!
Happy Hanukkah!!



  • http://www.jammer-store.com/ mobile phone jammer circuit

    What do you think concerning adding some more images? No offence, content is really great. Just according to the scientists humans acquire info much more effective if there are certain helpful images.
    Joahn Mainfield

  • http://www.baccaratgirls.com/ escort cheap london

    It was extremely interesting for me to read this blog. Thank author for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.
    Bella Smith

  • http://escortbanner.com/ woman companion

    Really interesting blog to spend some time on reading it as for me. I have a question, why haven’t you you send this article to social bookmarks? This should bring much traffic here.

  • http://serialpost.net/download-powerdvd-9-0-and-crack-keygen-serial/ Patch

    Hello amigos, I am Anna and I want to make my little commentary. I am want to place your text at my personal blog, with link to your blog. Is it normal for your? give to me your answer, please.

  • Anete Simpson

    Rather cool place you’ve got here. Thanks the author for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more soon.
    Anete Simpson
    escort kiev

  • http://www.testprojectforme252534.com blog

    Remember: with so many shows on the air all competing for audience attention they’re all looking for a
    new and different angle. Try to use large bags;
    it will be easier to cut smaller shapes out of larger pieces than add two pieces together.
    Its weight is 122 grams and casing measures 111 x 51 x
    13.

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of information.
    I’m happy that you just shared this helpful information with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated bans on compiling information on people's religion and rev

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often confuse God’s religious identity with their own, leading t

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center site, is a wonderful example of rising to that challen

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 (212) 41

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.