Tag Archives: hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah and Shabbat Shalom

This Shabbat is  unique as it comes during our celebration of Hanukkah.  The miracles and beauty of each are precious.  As we sing and light candles (ten of them in total this evening, including the Shamash and the seven and the two for Shabbat), experience the joy and beauty found in the glowing flames.  Remember the words we were taught, “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit.”

This particularly interesting moment in history is an important occasion to rededicate ourselves to our ideals and the values we profess.

Tonight as you watch the candles, hold someone in your heart or in your arms,  and be grateful.

Experience Hanukkah and Shabbat together.

Below are a couple of more great tunes from two great a capella groups the Maccabeats and Six13.

Chag Urim Sameach and Shabbat Shalom.

 

Whether you prefer Six13 or the Maccabeats, enjoy these tunes and celebrate Hanukkah!

Chag Urim Sameach!

 

 

 

Shabbat and a Hamilton Hanukkah

This Shabbat, Shabbat Mevarchim, we celebrate and bless the start of the new month of Tevet, which starts next week. And at the end of Shabbat, the Havdalah candle will make way for the Hanukkah candles. The days are now getting longer. Light is entering from everywhere.

Leonard Cohen, z”l, wrote in his poem song, Anthem, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Although each of us has cracks, that gives each of us the chance to let the light in.

This Shabbat and this Hanukkah, embrace both joy and hope.

Enjoy this wonderful Hanukah music as Six13 and the Maccabeats go head to head.

Shabbat Shalom

 

A Hanukkah throwdown!

 

A Hanukkah of Darkness

 

We enter Hanukkah from a place of deep darkness. I write this as the remains of the city of Aleppo are reduced to rubble. The people are trapped inside, with death raining down on them from above. The similarity to the gas chambers of the Shoah is unmistakable.

We have watched as this modern mass murder unfolds. I reluctantly refrain from the word Genocide, as it would ignite a conversation about the word rather than cold look at the harsh reality of the death and destruction that is occurring, where innocent civilians are being systematically destroyed. But the word resonates for me nonetheless. What are the lessons of the Shoah?

We must ask ourselves what is our role in the world. This question is for us as Americans and for us as Jews. It is too late for the remnant of Syria however. The United States provided some support to the political opposition of the Regime and we have provided limited aid to those who have escaped. But we have failed to protect the innocents, permitting the most brutal weapons of mass murder to exterminate. Hundreds of thousands have been killed; the savage death machine indiscriminate, women, children, and aid workers are victims as well as political opponents. The United States’ opportunities to assert itself as a provider of sanctuary either here or there have been squandered. A modern holocaust has occurred as we watched.

What did we learn from the Shoah? Was it merely a particular tragedy to befall the Jewish people? Wasn’t the Shoah also supposed to be a lesson to the world that “Never Again” was a cry to universal humanity? Sadly in the face of the Syrian crisis, we turned away, as the world turned away from the Jewish people in our time of greatest despair. I am overcome by the realization of all that we did not do, of all that I did not do.

Hanukkah is supposed to celebrate the light of freedom and God’s miracles. But they came in that order. The Jews wondrously won the improbable victory, and then the lights of the Menorah miraculously lasted for eight days. The miracle of the oil could only have happened after the people fought to overcome the injustice of the world where they lived. Sadly I think we did not merit God’s miracle this time. Let us use this coming year to commit ourselves to that most basic Jewish value; that we will no longer stand idly by while our neighbor’s blood is being shed.

Amen.