Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Chanukah




Tonight is the first night of Chanukah. I'm bringing a "guest blogger" from my synagogue's weekly email. It gives a brief explanation of the historical setting for Chanukah and the philosophical reason it remains important. It is a holiday of hope, faith and miracles and discovering light in the darkest times. Often it's seen as a holiday for children, but as I grow older the need for hope, faith and miracles grows, rather than diminishes and I found these thoughts very inspiring.


Hanukkah Message 

In the Talmud, Shabbat 21a, the Rabbis teach, "On the twenty-fifth day of Kislev commences the days of Hanukkah—eight days on which lamentations for the dead and fasting are forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they defiled all the oils therein, and when the Hasmonean dynasty prevailed against and defeated them, they searched and found only one cruse of oil with the seal of the High Priest, but it contained sufficient oil for one day's lighting only. Yet a miracle occurred and they lit the lamp that burned for eight days."

At the darkest time of year, we celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, and while the Rabbinic story of Hanukkah teaches the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days, perhaps the greatest miracle of Hanukkah is our ancestors’ desire to have faith in lighting the oil at all, since it was only supposed to last a short while. We know that in times of darkness and despair, it can be difficult to get up the courage and faith to make the effort to see light, to bring light in, to find the spark internally, and to dedicate ourselves to being "lamp-lighters" in the world. We pray that, during this season of rededication and light, we have the faith to dedicate ourselves to bringing light into the world despite its darkness, and faith that if we are willing to make that initial step, the light has the potential to kindle other flames and to vanquish the darkness. 

Thanks to Pinterest for this delightful Chanukah gingerbread house, a first for me, and I hope you will enjoy it, too. My thanks for the sweet and thoughtful comments about my dear friend, Diane, and my wishes for hope, faith and miracles to you and your families and to all in need of light and hope.


17 comments:

Melissa F said...

Happy Chanukah!

LDH said...

A wonderful explanation of Hanukkah and the hope it holds in individuals lives and the world.

The gingerbread house is lovely!
Happy Chanukah, Dear friend!

Terra said...

Happy Chanukah dear friend.

Maggid said...

Hag Sameach!!!!
love & love,
-g-

Country Dreaming said...

Enjoy your Festival of Lights.
Have fun.


PS--sorry about your friend.

Melinda

Barbara F. said...

Happy Chanukah, Carol. I hope you have eight wonderful days of happy surprises. xo

TARYTERRE said...

Sparking hope and lighting up the world in this season of peace and joy is a blessed thing. May your faith guide you as you light the candles on your Menorah this week. Happy Chanukah.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

May the light of hope shine brightly for you too.

Lynda said...

I love the Biblical celebrations God gave us!!!

Amrita said...

Happy Chanuka to you Buttercup

Ms Sparrow said...

Thanks for sharing!

Chatty Crone said...

The same to you and I love the white and blue house.
sandie

Theresa said...

Happy Chanukah! Hugs!

Kerrie said...

What a wonderful lesson! Beautiful! Thank you so much for joining my blog!

Nezzy said...

That gingerbread house is just amazin'.

Thank you for the wonderful education of Chanukah.

God bless and enjoy the festivities with the laughter of good friends, the love of family and a song in your heart!!!

Neabear said...

Thank you for a reminder lesson to refresh my memory in regards why you celebrate Chanukah! I love that gingerbread house!

~Linnea

Grammy Staffy said...

Happy Chanukah dear Buttercup. Thank you for the inspiring message today. We would all do so much better if we would just rely on that light when we are in our darkest moments. That is a message that we all need to remember and draw upon. I wish you the very happiest holiday season. I am sure that 2012 will be a better year for both of us. Thank you for being my sweet blog friend and support. Hugs, Lura