I missed you! I’ve missed this. I’ve missed writing for the sake of writing and not for a grade or to fulfill a requirement (as important as that is for my life right now). But I’m glad I have a second to sit here and blog for the time being.
I hope you’ve had a productive past couple of months. I think the last time I wrote it was almost Rosh Hashana and now it’s coming up on “Thanksgivvakah” (BTW, I’m so happy I’m not going to be around in 77,000 years because if I see one more “Recipes that combine Hannukah and Thanksgiving!” or “DIY hacks for your Thankgivakkah party!” I might lead a Turkey rebellion (see what I did there? I combined the rebellion of Hannukah and the fact that turkeys don’t want to be eaten for Thanksgiving – get it?! BECAUSE ITS A COMBO DAY!)
If anything, I’m bummed we combine them this year. It’s like having your birthday fall on well, Hannukah. But it’s fine, we’ll spin the wishbone, light string beans in your Menorahs and talk about how Pocahantas got Holofernes drunk and then cut off his head. It’ll be great.
I’m extra excited for Hannukah this year. And not because the Maccabeats just put out a new video. Which I’ve watched about 47,000 times. But because I’m seeing the holiday in a new light (HA! MORE JOKES!) this year.
We all know Hannukah is about miracles. It’s about the righteous beating the wicked. It’s about a tiny jug of oil burning for 7 extra days. It’s about bringing light into into the darkness that is the winter – and our spiritual winter.
But it’s also about the rededication of the Beis Hamikdash. Compared to the other stuff, the rededication almost seems like an afterthought. I mean, there’s nothing supernatural about cleaning up our holy temple and getting our stuff back together. Even though the name of the holiday alludes to the rededication, *clearly* the other stuff we celebrate is so much cooler! I never thought that the rededication was that exciting. It’s definitely not the main plot of the Rugrats Hannukah special.
But in fact, it could be the biggest miracle of the holiday. When the Beit Hamikdash was new. It was a novelty, it was exciting. People were jazzed. People were talking about it. I’m sure they wrote all about it the Jerusalem Post.
But that’s to be expected. When things are new, people are gonna get behind it. The fact that the Temple was destroyed and people got jazzed *again* is an even bigger deal than when the Temple was dedicated the first time.
It is SO hard to get back up when something you’re used to gets demolished. It’s SO hard to bounce back from destruction and rebuild. If I was there during those times and saw that the Greeks had graffitied “GOD SUCKS – ZEUS RULES!” on the Aron, I might’ve been like “Ugh, guess we’re just going to have find some other way to serve God. I’m not spending my Sunday squeeging this place. Instead of a Temple, maybe we’ll make like a circus tent. A collapsable one. So if anyone tries to mess with us again, we’ll just fold it up and paint ourselves to match the forest Peeta-style until they can’t find us.”
But the Jews didn’t do that. They sighed and got back to work. When life knocks you down (or shifty Greeks) you get back up.
You get back up.
These past few weeks have been really hard for me, you guys. Something bad has happened in my brain. The pressures of school, internship, the wedding combined with a terrible night of combining alcoholic drinks, along with some chemical imbalance and hormonal imbalance has caused some sort of volcano that triggered a panic disorder.
It hasn’t been fun. I have had no experience with mental imbalance. For a while it seemed like my head a very dark place. I was scared to be alone in it. If you know what it’s like to not be able to trust your own mind, you might know what that’s like. For a while i felt hopeless that anything was going to change. That I may be stuck with these thoughts forever.
Thankfully, I’ve gotten a little better after getting help. I’m on a very weird journey right now. It’s hard to explain. It feels like this whole scary experience has been sort of a wake-up call for me. But i’m not sure what it means yet.
All I know for sure is that every bad experience you go through makes you more empathetic. Every scary thing you go through makes it easier to endure the next one. Every fear you live through is another opportunity to laugh at it.
When life knocks you down, you don’t give up.
Whether it’s Greeks, grades, accidents, weather or your own brain.
You get back up. You clean up. You light a match.
And most importantly, you don’t forget. You don’t forget your struggle because struggles make us stronger.
Be a Maccabee, be strong.
Six more days until Hannukah!