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Just a few days to Chanukah

15/12/2022 09:02:36 AM


This coming Sunday evening, we will usher in the first light of Chanukah. We will do so in grand fashion at Beth Emeth beginning at 5pm. I encourage as many of us as possible to attend. A fun time will be had by all. A year ago, I missed our shul party because I had committed to visiting my son in Denver for American Thanksgiving, which took place just a couple of days before the onset of Chanukah. As a result, I have not celebrated Chanukah with our shul since prior to the pandemic.

I am very excited that on Sunday night, I will lead us in reciting the blessings surrounding the Chanukiah and lead us in singing some festive Chanukah songs. On the first night only, we recite three blessings, the third one being Shehecheyanu which is recited on the first night only. While the first blessing is a recitation on the actual candle-lighting, the second blessing thanks God for miracles associated with this season of the year. Does one think only of the miracles attached to the origin of Chanukah, such as the oil lasting for eight days and the few defeating the many? Or does one also consider miracles of Jewish history and in our personal lives to this very day? The answer depends on a variant regarding the text of the second blessing. Most Jews recite the words "In those days at this season." Some Jews, based on an ancient manuscript discovery, recite the words "In those days AND at this season. The little Hebrew letter "Vav - And" changes the whole meaning of the blessing. 

Either way, I wish us all a healthy and happy Chanukah. I look forward to seeing you Sunday evening.

Chag Urim Sameach - A joyous Festival of lights

Rabbi Howard Morrison

Fri, 8 December 2023 25 Kislev 5784