Rabbi Jamie on Jonny

On Chanukah we focus on what makes us different, on what makes it special to be a Jew, on what gives our lives meaning. The light of the menorah pushes away the darkness the way that meaning pushes away the mundane. The passing of a friend is also marked with a candle, symbolic of the neshama, and it flickers in their memory.

The memory of a friend like Jonnie is, to me, similar to the chanukah menorah. He was a man who pushed away darkness wherever he saw it. He cared about people, wanted them to have meaning, fought for them to have meaning, he tried to smile and make light of his own terrible situation. The memory of a friend can also light up the darkness and Jonnie’s life should serve as a torch to light our way. To be positive, to care, to fight for others even if they dont appreciate it, to dream a dream of a better world and to make an effort to bring it about.

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