Celebrating the Bold and the Brave
A holiday message from Dr. Alan Kadish
Chanukah, the festival of lights is a twofold holiday that commemorates both an unlikely victory of the small band of Jewish Maccabees over the Syrian-Greek forces and the miracle of an inexhaustible flame rekindled in the Holy Temple. We take this opportunity to celebrate the faithful, the outnumbered, and the seemingly helpless figures in our history, who set an example for each of us with their achievements despite overwhelming political and religious adversity. The praise and thankfulness we express over candlelight with family empowers and motivates us to take charge of our personal, religious, and institutional destiny.
The Touro College and University System, in which we have all invested our time and effort, would not exist without the actions of the bold and brave men and women who emulate those visionaries who we celebrate this holiday season. As we prepare to publicize the miraculous national and religious victory of Jewish history we cannot overlook some of the similarities between Chanukah and Thanksgiving, which coincide this year. Therefore, it is incumbent on us to point out the symbolic resonance of the courageous men and women who fled European exile to the wilderness of the New World for the freedom of religious self-determination to the heroes and miracles of Chanukah. This juxtaposition adds a dimension of thematic continuity as we celebrate the millennial old commemoration of the bravery of the Jewish people as they battled to retake their rights of religious expression and freedom.
These national and religious victories charge us with a communal responsibility to recognize the value of the freedoms that we often take for granted and they remind us of our responsibility to ensure those rights and freedoms for all people. Let us use this time and take stock of and show our gratitude for our families, our work, and our faith, and rededicate ourselves to achieve even greater success both individually and as a unified university system.
On behalf of the administration of The Touro College and University System, I extend my best wishes to your family and wish you a happy Chanukah and happy Thanksgiving.