Chanukah: Louis Faber's story
“As NHS staff it is important to never forget that we are performing miracles every day for our patients and service users. No matter how small or insignificant you may think a particular task is, like the small first day of oil that turned into eight days, they all culminate and contribute towards many miracles that help our patients live better lives.”
This week, Louis Faber, Quality Improvement Facilitator at CLCH, has shared his own story of Chanukah:
From Sunday 18 December until Monday 26 December, I, along with millions of Jews around the world, am celebrating the Jewish holiday of ‘Chanukah’. The holiday is widely known by many as the Jewish ‘Festival of Lights’.
The word ‘Chanukah’ is a Hebrew word which literally means ‘dedication’. This particular holiday commemorates the reclamation of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem back in 164BC, after the ‘Maccabees’, a small group of Jewish warriors, defeated the mighty Greek army against all odds.
When the Maccabees sought to relight the ruined Temple using the ‘Menorah’ (an oil-based candelabrum), they only found enough purified oil in the Temple to keep the Menorah lit for one day. However, (and again, against all odds) the oil remained alight for 8 whole days! And subsequently, to commemorate these events, the annual holiday of Chanukah was created.
Amongst all the enjoyments, delights, and celebrations that engulf this joyous festival, the story of Chanukah offers lessons for people of all faiths and none. The story of Chanukah teaches me to be resilient to find positivity in times of darkness. When the small and mighty Maccabees revolted and prevailed over the powerful Greek army, they stood up for their beliefs in pursuit of religious and civil liberty. We see in today’s society that people, both at home and abroad, are oppressed and marginalised. This is a stark reminder for all of us to fight for justice where we see injustices and for liberty where we see oppression.
Albert Einstein once said: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as through everything is a miracle.”
As NHS staff it is important to never forget that we are performing miracles every day for our patients and service users. No matter how small or insignificant you may think a particular task is, like the small first day of oil that turned into eight days, they all culminate and contribute towards many miracles that help our patients live better lives.
I would like to take this opportunity in wishing all of my colleagues across the NHS a very happy Chanukah, and of course a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!