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Chag Urim Same’ach to Our Community

Dear Bialik Community Members,

In the nick of time, just as Toronto temperatures drop and light fades early, Chanukah comes along, bringing us its many bright festivities, stories and songs. As you know, Chanukah is often referred to as the “Festival of Lights.” Indeed, as is the case in many religious traditions, the Jewish calendar places a celebration of light at exactly the darkest time of year.

The most obvious of the Chanukah lights is the Chanukiya — the special Menorah with eight candles for the eight days of the holiday. With each successive night, we add a candle, and the Chanukiya burns ever brighter, lighting up the dark.

There is also much metaphorical light associated with Chanukah. In school, we celebrate the ancient victory of the Maccabees and the power that comes from genuine pride in a strong Jewish identity. We admire the optimism expressed in the decision to light that Menorah in the re-dedicated temple — even though there didn’t seem to be enough oil to last.

Finally, of course, there is the light that our children bring into our lives. With each Chanukah celebration and sing-along, the bright faces of our Bialik students radiate warmth and light. Our halls are filled with Chanukah artwork and the voices of children singing all the holiday favourites. And this year, the Hebrew calendar places Chanukah squarely in the school’s winter break, giving us the opportunity to fully enjoy the holiday together with our children.

May Chanukah 5780 bring us all joy and light in every sense of the word.

Chag Urim Same’ach. !חג אורים שמח

Benjy Cohen
Head of School