Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nights of Light

The first candle of Chanukah

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, the eight-day festival that celebrates a miracle of faith over two thousand years ago. One candle is lit daily for each day of the holiday. On this first night one candle was lit and tomorrow two candles will be lit until the last night when all eight candles are lit. The middle candle is the helper, or shamash, candle and lights all the others. 

My prayer class was scheduled for tonight, but instead of our regular study we lit the menorah, sang songs and ate jelly doughnuts, one of the traditional foods of the holiday. Our wonderful rabbi spoke about the meaning of the holiday and it gave me new insights into the festival of light. I don't think I can do justice to his thoughts, but I'd like to share my notes with you.

Though there was just enough oil for one day, there is a place for miracles. We need to find the crucible of oil that's within us to light our spirit. The first step in finding our spiritual purpose is to light the first candle and encourage the light to grow. The miracle is that when we act in faith, help comes from Above, but it is our duty to act, and look for the light within us.  

Besides the bears and snowfolks I have Chanukah items, including my favorite, my camel menorah. I bought this in Israel over twenty years and it brings back sweet memories.

This is the scene at my local bagel store/deli, which is a frequent stop on my retiree calendar. It's not fancy, but they have some of the best bagels in New York. After sampling coffee throughout the neighborhood I found I liked their coffee best of the dozen places within three or four blocks of my apartment. I've become a regular and three or four times a week I'm there to drink coffee and read the newspaperThe latkes, or potato pancakes, are in the pan to the left. I haven't tried either the latkes or doughnuts served here, but I bet they are good.

On this night when we celebrate light and faith I leave you with these lines from a song we learned this evening.

"Kindle my candle and my light, O G'd,
They will then shine forever."



Happy Chanukah. I hope you have a wonderful celebration.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Happy Hannukah Carol; all the best to you!

Mevely317 said...

Happy Chanukah, dear friend.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I love your camel menorah. Happy Chanukah, Carol.

Saleslady371 said...

Happy Chanukah, Carol. Loved reading your notes and hearing about your class! Those bagels, whew!!!

Simply Linda said...

Happy Chanukah! Oh those jelly doughnuts look good. Blessings

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

I love your Camel Menorah. May you be blessed with the light of faith.

Nellie said...

Sending you the best wishes for a blessed season of hope and faith! Happy Hannukah, Carol!

Melinda said...

Such a nice insight into this special holiday. Enjoy.

Your notes were very thought provoking.

M : )

BJ PUP said...

You nailed it. Very nice and inspiring.

Kerin said...

Happy Chanukah.

My goodness.. those bagels look delish.
I love a good bagel.
So, do you like cream cheese on your bagel? Toasted or warmed?
My favorite bagel is a asiago cheese bagel, toasted, with whipped cream cheese.


Maggid said...

Oh, for a good New York Bagel . . .
Beautiful Season of Lights!!
Happy Chanukah!

Annesphamily said...

I know you spent a beautiful Chanukah! I always admired the Jewish people I worked with. we would trade holidays and it was always so wonderful to learn about someone else's celebrations. Blessings to you sweet friend.