The Atlanta Jewish Times, for major Jewish holidays, asks about forty Atlanta Jewish community leaders to submit 250-word columns on a common theme. For Hanukah 2020, the concept was; As a Candle Gives its Light to the Other, We Are Reminded How Our Own Light Increases When We Extend Ourselves to Each.

My submission focused on life during the Pandemic, how the days have blurred together, and Americans general response to the threat.

On March 12, 2020, America hunkered down to combat the Covid 19 virus. All of us began living an interior life that has become a ten-month long blur of days.

I am 74 years old and full of bucket-list plans and not designed to tread water as a lifestyle. However, I am also a patriot so when asked to sacrifice, I do.

For example, I shut down a big calculating part of my brain that envisions numerous travel destinations yet unvisited and prized projects not started. It was hard but I learned to direct energies into expanding cooking, cleaning, and exercise routines and benefitted.

Unfortunately, many Americans followed the president who betrayed the people by undermining his own prevention program. As of Dec. 6, 2020, more than 281,000 have died and some still claim it’s a hoax, even as an intubation tube is put in them.

Hannukah, the festival of lights, celebrates freedom from tyranny. In a democratic society like America, citizens must share common values and employ self-discipline.

A majority of us sacrificed for the public good by embracing health experts’ advice. The rest apparently did not and caused the pandemic to spin out of control.

I pray that President-Elect Joe Biden will be able to pull the nation together and heal us over time. We, as a people, must regain our unity so that we are again a light unto each other and the world.

Therefore, when we celebrate Hannukah this year, my great hope is that the current tribalism tearing us apart will dim and the virus brought under control.