Agents of Light
By Samantha Vinokor
A great miracle happened there.
Every night of Chanukah, Jews around the world light candles.
In the heart of winter, we bring tiny flickers of light to the world that we’re instructed to share by placing them publicly in the windows of our homes.
We are agents of light, responsible for creating sparks of warmth and inspiration, harkening back to a miracle that happened thousands of years ago, that we remember each year.
The festival of Chanukah marks the defeat of the Syrian Greeks by the Maccabees, and the reconquering of the Temple in Jerusalem.
The miracles of Chanukah are twofold: the military victory of the Jews over the Greeks, and the oil, which should only have lasted for one night, successfully burning for eight nights.
Both of these miracles happened on the Temple Mount, only a few minutes away from my apartment.
A great miracle happened here.
In Jerusalem, the past and present come together like the sky and the mountains in the distance. They meet in a convergence of time, with one blending into the other seamlessly. Softly, the voices of the past echo in the footsteps of the present. We touch what our ancestors touched, and they see through our eyes in this city where miracles happen.
Israel, the place where the Temple was reclaimed thousands of years ago, reverberates with the energy that comes from generations’ worth of prayers being directed here. Every step is coated in the tears of longing shed by those who never made it to this place, and reflects the smiles of those who are able to call it home.
A great miracle happens here.
Every day, tiny miracles burst forth like tiny flames, lit by our presence in Jerusalem.
Samantha Vinokor is the Director of Marketing and Recruitment for Budokan Israel, a Masa program specializing in Martial Arts and Fitness. She is also pursuing a Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Samantha is a recent olah chadasha. More about her freelance work, experiential education initiatives, and blogging can be found here.
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