Tonight we light the 4th candle and our question is: What four books or movies impacted you this year?
I have heard from many people that since the pandemic, reading for pleasure has been difficult. It has been this way for me, as well, which has been a sadness because reading novels has been a comfort since I was a little girl. We watched a lot of movies and series this year, though so I’m including them in the reflection for tonight.
4th night of Hanukkah question:
What 4 books or movies had an impact on you this year?
Here are mine. I hope you will add yours to the comments.
- A new poet and writer I discovered this year is Dane Kuttler. Her little book on Shabbat, called “Rest” is a small collection of lovely kavannot (intentions) and I’m turning to it for inspiration.
- A colleague recommended a book to me that absolutely blew my mind. “In Love with the World: A Monk’s Journey Through the Bardos of Living and Dying” by Yongey Mingyur is the memoir of a Zen Buddhist monk who left everything he knew, to wander the streets. He wanted to see how his deep meditation practice would work if he wasn’t in the cloistered environment of his community, where he was revered. The book changed me and my thoughts and practice about meditation.
- The book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman was another life-changing book. He posits that we only have so much time on this earth (four thousand weeks!) and we will never get everything done. Although this may seem obvious, this book illuminated for me my patterns around how I spend my time (if I just “work smarter” I can get everything done) and the futility of thinking this way.
- Bittersweet, How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain was another powerful book I read this past year. She explores the concept of “bittersweetness” and acknowledges the yearning for wholeness that is part of the human condition. I loved it.
For the Hanukkah candle blessings, click here.
For my favorite latke recipe, click here.