I recently had the pleasure to meet Ari Margolis, the new assistant rabbi at Temple Beth Or in North Raleigh.  I was touched by his commitment to practical service and left feeling that we’d be seeing more of each other.

In the December 9th News Observer, I was pleased to see Ari’s photo on the front of the local page and this quote from him describing the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah:

In reference to Hanukkah being a celebration of miracles, Rabbi Ari suggests that miracles aren’t some grand magic show by God, but rather as he says, “…they (miracles) are proof that we partnered with God.  And that’s the true essence of this holiday; that we can be the source for creating miracles, large and small, for others.  The miracles people will talk about and celebrate later on are in our hands now.  That’s how we bring light to the world.”

Ari was speaking of Hanukkah, but when I read that, I was taken by how appropriate those same words would be for myself (a  Christian) speaking of Christmas.  And how true what he says.  I’ve seen it over and over in my work with Habitat.  It is indeed a miracle that Habitat homes are built, but there is nothing mysterious or magical about it—just the pure simplicity of people stepping forward and engaging in selfless acts of service to their neighbors.

A simple holiday message.  How refreshing.  Thank you, Rabbi Ari.