Updated for Hanukkah 5775 / December 2014
Happy Hanukkah from Lord of the Rings
Near the end of the film version of Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers," Frodo's loyal companion, Sam, encourages Frodo in their quest:
The story of Hanukkah is the story of a shadow that passed over the nation of Israel in the mid-second century before Messiah's coming. The Jewish priest, Mattityahu, father of Judah Maccabee, reflects on this shadow with these words:
Yet in spite of the ruin - the shadow - he and his family stood for what was right, true, and good. After much struggle, the purity of the nation was restored and peace once again reigned in the land. The shadow had passed, but not on its own accord. The light of godliness had pushed back the armies of darkness and prevailed.
There is a shadow that grows over the world today. Too few perceive its presence or its power. Like in the days of the Maccabees, great numbers are being overtaken by it. Yet, in the end, it won't prevail; but who will stand against it?
The lighting of the Hanukkah lights not only reminds us of the exploits of brave people of God in times past, but calls us to be lights in our own day - lights that will prevail over this passing shadow.
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