As we continue to navigate our personal and professional lives through the Covid-19 pandemic, we can most certainly all use some extra light and joy leading us into the winter New England months when there is less and less daylight to be had. Chanukah, the festival of lights, came early this year and was a perfect start to our winter season, shedding light just as our daylight hours lessened.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the celebration of Chanukah. One concept that is likely familiar to you and serves as an inspiration to us, especially this year, is that of the ninth candle on our Chanukiyah, the candle known as The Shamash. To fulfill the mitzvah of candle lighting, the Shamash needs to do its job for all eight days, year after year. In this way, the Shamash, the helper, truly serves as a role model for us all. It gives what it can, a flame that lights others, and that makes all the difference.
The Mitzvah of “Areyvut” (helping others) is one that we are all capable of in our daily lives. As a non-profit agency, here at the JCCNS we strive to not only provide daily services, but also to create community that helps people feel a part of something bigger than one’s self. This past year, we heard over and over again how important the JCCNS was in so many people’s lives.
What can you do to help? Be the Shamash! This year, our JCCNS Annual Appeal is asking not only for your financial support, but also for your support in bringing our community back together. So this Chanukah, commit yourself to Be the Shamash. Help us by giving what you can. Helping others will not diminish your flame, but rather allows you to light someone else’s, just as the flame from the Shamash sparks the light of the other candles. And from that communal light, we all feel more warmth.
Be the Shamash. Every gift makes a difference. We thank you for your support.
JCCNS Executive Director
JCCNS Board President