A Hanukkah Miracle for these Covid Times

Most people know Hanukkah lasts for 8 nights and that one candle is lit for each night on a menorah, or technically, a hanukkiah. Hanukkah means ‘dedication’ and it marks the liberation of the Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE when a small band of Jews, the Maccabees, liberated the Jewish people from the Syrian-Greeks who occupied the land forcing Greek culture on the Jews. When the Jews took back control of the Temple they only had oil for one night to rededicate the temple menorah, but it lasted for 8 nights.

Tonight is the 4th night of Hanukkah. Yesterday, while listening to NPR, I heard an inspiring story with Rabbi Ari Saks of the Huntington Jewish Center, New York in conversation with NPR’s Scott Simon. The rabbi brought home the connection between today’s battle against Covid19 and the little victories that help us get through these impossible-seeming times.

He told a story of Auschwitz, the most notorious of the Nazi concentration camps, and a small band of Jews who made their own miracle.

In Auschwitz this commandant of the Nazis thought it would be right to torment the people by saying, “Hey Jews guess what, don’t you know that it is Hanukkah? See we lit candles for you.” And he pointed to the crematoria that were at full blast.

“Oh, we have a Hanukkah gift for you.” And it was an extra loaf of bread and some margarine. And I think the Nazis just thought they were going to fight tooth and nail just to get a little piece of it. But these Jews inside this concentration camp said, “You know what? We’re going to turn this tormenting moment of being ridiculed into the greatest miracle,” which is to take the margarine and the loaf of bread and some other resources that they had available (and I have no idea how they do it), they formed the bread and margarine into candles that they could actually light in the midst of the burning crematoria that they saw by the window. The mitzvah, the commandment of Hanukkah, is to show off the candle to any passer by. You’re supposed to put it in your window so that people passing by can see it and they can be informed of the miracle of Hanukkah. And these Jews in Auschwitz they took the candle and they put it by the window so that the Nazis could see it. These Jews were scoring a victory over death.

“The miracle is not just in the light lasting for 8 nights, but like these Jews, it’s the faith of the people to light it the first night. It takes a lot of guts to be able to light a candle and say this candle is going to burn and represent my hope that there will be a future that I can hold on to that’s going to be better even more so than in the present.”

In the midst of the battle with Covid19 we are able to find some element of victory, find some thing to hold on to to give us hope for the future.


You can find the whole interview here:

https://www.npr.org/2020/12/12/945788794/celebrating-hanukkah-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

It was a rough summer…..

reading

 

…..I didn’t think it would take this long to read and post again, but life threw some curve balls forcing me to take a break. I do intend to finish my Classics Club Spin, which I got 1/3 of the way through (Sir Walter Scott’s, Rob Roy) before things went south, and I hope to finish Persuasion and may attempt to write up why I did not like Pride and Prejudice. Yikes, I really did just say that!

I believe my health and other issues are now taken care of. I didn’t post anything for Banned Books Week, but I read through many of the books I own (The Diary of Anne Frank…really???) that have been challenged, and Instagrammed a few as well as some books I found at library sales. This is a stimulating week for me, it gets my ire up. I think it is important to see what classic and contemporary works were or continue to be under fire so we can support them. It is not up to some named or unnamed power to withhold knowledge or information from us or our children, because they think they know better. Only we can know for ourselves what is important to read and why.

I am gathering up my RIP choices for the month and will post those this week. I can’t think about scary books during September when it is still warm here and I am so physically active outside. Once the Equinox comes, the days cool off and it’s darker at night then I can feel the fear…..!!!!

I will continue to post for BTS* on the last Sunday of the month. Nature, through words and images, inspires me and heals me through every big and small thing. And today’s offering feels like a nice way back in.

I look forward to spending some time today seeing what you have all been up to!

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* as a way to share what is spiritually inspiring to me at the moment.

Blogging the Spirit-Soul of Earth

Florespeak

 

Soul of Earth, sanctify me.
Body of Earth, save me.
Blood of Earth, fill me with love.
Water from Earth’s side, wash me.
Passion of Earth, strengthen me.
Resurrection of Earth, empower me.
Good Earth, hear me.
Within your wounds, hide me.
Never let me be separated from you.
From the power of evil, protect me.
At the hour of my death, call me
That with your living ones I may thank you
For all eternity. Amen.
Adapted by Jane Pellowski, from Anima Christi

October’s Blogging the Spirit

btslogo.jpeg (3)

 

Hi All,

I just want to make mention that this month’s Blogging the Spirit will be on the 29th.

Everyone is welcome to share through a blog post, a Tweet, an Insta or wherever your social media lives on any aspect of what inspires your connection to God/Source/Nature/People.

Books, music, art, film, photography, poems, a liturgical passage, a personal reflection. You decide!

Use the hashtag #BloggingTheSpirit on Twitter and Instagram so we can find you. You can also come to this blog on that day and leave the url in the comments of the post I will put up. Go here for more information.

See you on the 29th!

 

Connecting Post for #BloggingTheSpirit

paradise

 

Hello! Welcome to Blogging the Spirit.

Here is the connecting post. You can use the comment section below to submit the url of your offering. And I encourage you to use the hashtag #BloggingTheSpirit on Twitter and Instagram so we can find you, too.

Thank you for participating!

~Laurie