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Hanukkah Message from Plaza Board Member Rabbi Joel Mosbacher

Joel-Mosbacher-photo
(
Re-printed from Temple Shaaray Tefila Chanukah email) 
 
Dear Friends,
 
At the darkest time of the year, our rabbis place the festival of Chanukah—our festival of light, which begins this year on Tuesday evening.
 
Some people ask me— why do we light the menorah the way we do? The miracle of oil that we commemorate lasted 8 nights, but wasn’t there a little less oil left in that precious cruse each day? If so, why do we not light 8 candles on the first day, 7 on the second, 6 on the third, and so on, symbolizing the diminishing oil?
 
Rabbi Hillel in the 1st century gives an answer to this question (which means that Jews have been debating this logical assumption for 2000 years!). Hillel says that while it might be logical to light 8 candles on the first night and then one less each night, our ethic should be marbim b’simcha. We should only increase our joy, not diminish it. The miracle itself grew greater with each passing day.
 
And so it is, I pray, with our lives. Each day we live is a miracle. Each opportunity we take to learn something new, to connect with the Holy One, to improve the world, is a miracle. Each time we look in the mirror or into the eyes of another human being and see hidden there a spark of the Divine is a miracle.
May this season be blessed for you with light, and may it be a season in which we each recognize the daily miracles in our lives.
 
I invite you to join your sacred community in joy and light for all of these events we’ll celebrate together.
 
All the best, and chag sameach,
 
joel-sig
 

Categories: Holiday