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Harriet Berkal

Harriet Berkal: Modern Day Maccabees

by Harriet Berkal, Nov 18, 2021

Hanukah is not just a Festival of Lights. It is a holiday of “HOPE”. And if ever there was a time where mankind was desperate for a message to carry on - it’s NOW.

So, don’t blink, for fear of missing out on those amongst us, who are heroes in their own right- championing for freedom and truth.

Let’s applaud the following individuals who forge ahead, positioning themselves in a battle for what’s right:

  1. Frances Haugen, a former product manager on Facebook's civic team. She is the courageous WHISTLEBLOWER, a “David” against the “Goliath “of a trillion-dollar industry. She has come forward exposing her former employer, of alleged manipulation of those users of Facebook. Frances understands the algorithms utilized by the company and how they have been set up. She is a brave soul, putting her future career at risk, but she cannot turn a blind’s eye.
  2. All the healthcare workers, including the thousands of doctors, nurses, social workers, care givers, who are battling to save lives during this horrendous pandemic. They face each day, seeking the light at the end of the tunnel, where science isn’t politicalized to the detriment of lives.
  3. Dr. Anthony Fauci an 80-year-old champion who vehemently struggles to convey the horrors of a pandemic and who is constantly guiding us on how to navigate ourselves out of this global health crisis. At 80 years old, he has the stamina to not retire and walk away. He remains vigilant in conquering this Covid monster.
  4. All the individuals, who are marching to oppose the revision of abortion laws in Texas. It’s taken decades for women to win the right to control their bodies. So, they refuse to go backwards and demand that their voices be heard, in this reprehensible day, where their rights have been revoked.
  5. Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg, is a Swedish environmental activist who is known for challenging world leaders to take immediate action for climate change mitigation. This stoic 18-year-old has made it her mission to speak out as the polar glaciers melt and our world has been severely compromised by global warming. She is looking out for the future of our planet and for the generations who will follow.
  6. Liz Cheney and a handful of other Republican congressional sitting members and all of those who refuse the rhetoric of conspiracy theorists, attacking our democracy. They are standing up to ex President Donald Trump, in his fake news and lies about the January 6th insurrection against the House. He lost the election, but many sitting members are afraid to contest him, for fear of losing their seats in upcoming elections.  Cheney sees the bigger picture of preserving democracy and is adamant to put herself front and centre, at risk of losing her next electoral seat. She is debunking these outrages claims that no civil disobedience ever took place that day. It’s that important to her that no future President can cause such a shock to a political system as has happened.
  7. Women in abusive relationships who have had to bear exasperated conditions, as Covid forced shutdowns and their plight worsened. Their courage has been tested to leave and save their families from the forces of domestic abuse.
  8. Aren’t all of us who have been vaccinated and put a new vaccine into our bodies-heroes? We do so to help ward off this killer virus and take our social responsibility seriously to protect ourselves, plus our fellow brethren.
  9. Essential workers are our heroes as they stock the shelves for our very basic supplies like toilet paper, diapers, and groceries, which we rely on to function through our “New Normal.”
  10. First responders who arrive at the scenes of hurricanes and forest fires risking their lives to save others as global warming wreaks havoc on our planet.  
  11. All of those who recognize the violation of Indigenous children who were slaughtered in our country’s Residential Schools. These atrocities must be reconciled.
  12. The masses who protest that Black Lives Matter after witnessing far too many incidents targeting innocent individuals subjected to police violence.

Clearly, one could go on and on to convey that we have modern Maccabees right here today. They are committed in what they do.

May we celebrate this second Hanukkah during the Covid pandemic and dream of the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s pray we are inching our way towards it.

Let’s switch off the negative energy between us and glow brighter in kindness towards one another.

Happy Hanukah!

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