Tonight we light the 2nd candle. For the 1st night, we lit one candle for something we know for sure. Now we turn to experiences. For this 2nd night of Hanukkah, our question is:
Which two experiences helped shape who you are today?
A premise for these Hanukkah Inspirations is that it is our job to bring light into the world. While the light of consciousness and creativity, the morning sun and the nighttime stars, emanate from the Source of All Light, we carry light into our world with our thoughts and actions. Each night is focused on another question that will help you bring light into your world.
There are times in each of our lives that leave an indelible impression. These are experiences from which we gleaned huge life lessons. Or sometimes, the experience was so profound that it changed us for good, or made us who we are.
In turn, these experiences that helped form you also impact the people in your life directly or indirectly.
I took many courses in Jewish history during rabbinic school. What fascinated me most was seeing how one change or experience shaped what came afterward. We would have to include the Shoah as something that continues to impact Jewry today. The emergence of the mystics of Safed in the middle ages changed how we celebrate Shabbat.
Let’s look more personally, as we light the second candle of Hanukkah.
2nd night of Hanukkah question:
Which two experiences helped shape who are you today?
Here are mine. I hope you will add yours to the comments.
These two experiences have had a lifetime impact on me:
- The two years I spent getting my master’s degree in education at the University of Massachusetts formed the basis for my thinking about everything I do. I learned about group development and dynamics, creating community, and social justice. I remember the material from a course on the stages of group development that now informs every program and group I lead.
- The rabbinical program and my subsequent ordination were life-changing. Many of you know that I went to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion when I was forty-seven years old. I thought, at the time, that I would spend the second half of my life engaged in and teaching Jewish spirituality. What I learned in my studies was a doorway to all that came after. (To learn more about my journey, click here.)
I hope you will add your own to the comments.
For the Hanukkah candle blessings, click here.
Vicki Roitman says
My 2 experiences that have changed my life and was instrumental of who I am today:
1) I grew up in the military therefore I became a change agent in helping others deal with change and leaving behind the things that don’t matter.
2) I became a Jew-by-choice for myself, not because of a marriage (33 years ago). I worked for 37 years at 5 different JCC’s, traveled to Israel 16 times and have continued developing Jewish values and a way of living throughout my life.
Rabbi Jill Zimmerman says
Hi Vicki. Thanks so much for sharing your two important experiences with us! What a rich life you have had. Happy Hanukkah.
David Strong says
Is there something unique to print each night, or is reading from the screen adequate?
Rabbi Jill Zimmerman says
Whatever works for you David!