Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In the Lights - December 1, 2010

What do you see when you look into the Chanukah lights?
The first light is a beginning, an act of faith that this initial step of dedication to fulfilling this mitzvah will inspire us to complete tasks we begin.
The second light reflects companionship, as two candles stand side by side with the shamash looking on (almost as if the shamash represents the light of God shining upon us).
The third light signifies the beginning of community. Ecclesiastes tells us that two are better than one and that three are better than two (in sustaining a business or a community)! Three can often generate what two might not be able to accomplish.
The fourth light represents progress towards a goal, the halfway point from which we can look back upon how far we have come and from which we look forward to the experiences that await us.
The fifth light illustrates our persistence and focus on goals we have set for ourselves or for an entire community, as we recall the persistence required of the Maccabees in their fight for religious and political freedom.
The sixth light offers a hint of the warmth to come from the care that we have shown in lighting the Chanukiah, the same care, concern and warmth that can sustain a family, community or congregation.
The seventh light is a harbinger of hope that we have “made it this far” in our Chanukah journey and can see the culmination of our dedication in sight. Such hope can sustain us in all aspects of our lives.
The eighth light brings together joy, wonder, amazement and a feeling of accomplishment. Every night, besides reciting the blessings, we might read the prayer Haneirot Halalu, “these lights are holy.” May we find during Chanukah and throughout the year sacred moments that bring to mind and heart all of these values.
Happy Chanukah to all, from our home to yours!
Rabbi Larry

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