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    WRNMMC Observes Jewish Festival of Light (Hanukkah)



    Story by Alpha Kamara 

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

    By Alpha Kamara, WRNMMC Command Communications

    WRNMMC, Bethesda, MD – The Eagle Zone on Building 10 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center has been ablaze with peaceful lights since the morning of Dec. 2.

    Rabbi Randy Brown and Navy Chaplain Cmdr. Joseph Blair, chief of Pastoral Care at WRNMMC, jointly lit candles in the building in celebration of the Hanukkah, The Jewish Festival of Light, which this year began on Nov. 28 and ends on Dec. 6.

    Brown said the Festival of Light is celebrated annually to reassure every one of the power of miracles, the power of dedication and light. He said WRNMMC has a team of dedicated staff who have dedicated their lives to serving humanity. “This is worth commending,” he said.

    On the power of miracles, Brown said, miracles do work if people believe in them and follow them with actions. “Last year, the Covid-19 pandemic was worse than now. It’s getting better now with the introduction of the vaccine. That’s the miracle power of science. We are not totally there yet, but we are in the right direction with more vaccinations,” he said. He urged everyone to be good to one another irrespective of social or religious backgrounds.

    Blair said as we are in the season of goodwill, it’s about dedicating our efforts towards serving others in need despite our differences.

    “Let’s think about others who are in need. In a world deeply divided, it’s good to use this festival as a way of supporting others to break down the barriers of division using love and faith,” Blair stated. The chaplain ended by wishing all his Jewish colleagues a happy Hanukkah - Festival of Light. “As you celebrate, I wish you well,” he added.

    Hanukkah, lasting eight days, commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. According to some accounts, on the 25th day of Kislev, the Jewish people re-entered the Temple following their victory over the Syrians and found only one jar of pure oil, enough to light the Temple’s lamp for only a day, but the oil lasted eight days.

    This began the tradition that the eight days beginning with the 25th day of Kislev should be observed as days of rejoicing and praising the Lord. Lamps are lit on the menorah, a nine-branched candelabrum lit during the observance.

    The ninth candle, called the Shamash (“helper” or “servant”), is used to light all the other candles or oil lamps. According to the Torah, a historical archive of Jewish law and tradition, God commanded the Israelites to make the original seven-branched candelabrum which would come to be known as the menorah.

    The light of the menorah symbolizes an eternal flame, which represents the nation of Israel and its mission to be “a light unto the nations.”



    Date Taken: 12.06.2021
    Date Posted: 12.20.2021 13:15
    Story ID: 411477
    Location: BETHESDA, MD, US 

    Web Views: 29
    Downloads: 0