Hanukkah begins in the darkest month of the year. We light the menorah (hanukkiah) for eight nights but we begin with just one. Each night, we increase the light by adding one new candle. Hanukkah means “rededication.” Tonight, we dedicate our lighting to deep knowing.
It is hard to believe that we are still in the unknown: how will we be affected by new variants? Will our vaccines protect us? How will we get vaccines to the poorest countries so we all can be protected?
Sometimes, the unknown can feel like darkness, when the light is obliterated. Yet, the darkness is often the birthplace of creativity.
In his poem, Sweet Darkness, David Whyte suggests that darkness can be like “a womb” and “…the night will give you a horizon further than you can see.”
While we can learn to tolerate the darkness and be patient with what is being born in the unknown, we can also add light. Our Jewish Hanukkah tradition teaches that we light ever-increasing candles. We keep adding to the light – the light not only from our candles, but the light of consciousness, awareness, and gratitude.
For each night of Hanukkah, I’ll be posing a question, and I hope you will participate.
Let’s light our world up.
1st night of Hanukkah question:
What is ONE thing that you know for sure?
For me, I know for sure that light follows darkness. I trust that day will follow night, both literally and figuratively. In dark places, I now assume that some light will appear for me in a timing that is uncertain so I need to be patient. The light may be a friend with exactly the teaching I need to hear or a piece of music that lightens my mood or a walk in the woods with the light appearing just so between the branches of my favorite trees.
One candle has the power to light up the darkness. One thing that we know for sure can give us faith and hope.
— I’ll be posting a new question each day with a photo of our precious #Bo. For my favorite potato latkes recipe click here. For the Hanukkah candle blessings, click here.
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sylvia m conant says
Every morning I say the Sh’ma while facing the sunrise. As I gaze into that sunrise I see how the light increases. It gives me hope for the day (even on those days where the clouds cover the sunrise – light still increases.
Rabbi Jill Zimmerman says
Dear Sylvia, what a beautiful practice! A daily reminder that light increases. I love this. Thank you for sharing. Happy Hanukkah Rabbi Jill