Chanukah 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. Chanukah means “rededication.” Tonight, we dedicate our lighting to those in our lives who have made a difference or are making one right now.
This year, we are not only in the physically darkest month of the year but at a time of enormous suffering in our nation and world.
And to this darkness, we can add light – the light not only from our candles, but the light of consciousness, awareness, and gratitude.
Each night for the eight nights of Chanukah, I’ll be posing a question, and I hope you will participate.
Despite the darkness of COVID, we also see the health care workers who make a difference each day by their commitment to saving each life as best they can. We also see the essential workers who deliver groceries, work in factories, and harvest vegetables for us to eat.
Let’s light our world up.
First night of Chanukah question:
What ONE person has made a difference in your life?
Perhaps it was something he or she taught you that affected you deeply – or
A person who shared a book with you that changed the course of your life – or
A person who modeled a way of being in the world that made you think differently about everything –
One person can make a difference. We know that from our own experience.
For me, I am choosing my mom, Marlene Marks Kornick. As many of you know, she died this year in September, right before the Jewish High Holy Days. Because of COVID restrictions, I was not able to either visit her in her final months, which broke my heart – but my mom did not want me to put myself in danger in any way by traveling, and so we facetimed a lot.
My mom saved my emotional life in so many ways. Next to my other parent’s disapproval, my mom’s belief in me and my basic goodness was the rock I stood upon. My mother always told me how good I was and how proud she was of me. She cheered every accomplishment but her support of me was so much more than about what I did. She believed in who I was. That was everything to me.
I would not be who I am today without her love.
Tonight, I dedicate this first candle to her: Marlene Marks Kornick, zikhronah livrakha – may her memory be a blessing.
Who is it that person for you? (Please write in the comments.)
One candle has the power to light up the darkness. One person has the power to light up our lives.
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