Hanukkah 2023

         Tonight begins the holiday of Hanukkah. Needless to say, this holiday feels so different. 

         It will be difficult to celebrate the joy of the season while the memories of the horrific terrorist attacks of October 7 are so fresh in our minds. Israelis and Jews throughout the world are still grieving, still attempting to recover from the horrors of that day and still praying for the return of the hostages. The scenes from Gaza are so horrible and we pray for the safety of those who defend Israel as we grieve for the innocent in Gaza, especially the children, who are suffering so horribly from this situation completely beyond their control.

         But, in the end, it is a holiday, and we should seek to find positive meaning in this festival of lights.  

         This morning, I posted a Hanukkah edition of my podcast: Wrestling and Dreaming: Engaging Discussions on Judaism. You can hear the podcast at wrestlinganddreaming.podbean.com. In this podcast, I speak about the hope that the Hanukkah lights can inspire in us even in dark times. We can not give up on our hopes and dreams even at times of such turmoil and sadness. 

         In addition, I invite you to listen to the previous podcast episodes about the meaning of the holiday. They are episodes 22-23, 72-74 and 128. These can be found on the website.

          I wish a meaningful, happy and hopeful Hanukkah. And for those from other religious traditions, may your holy days and celebrations bring you hope and may we all see a world of peace in the coming New Year. 

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