“May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.” ~ Anonymous
Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. The festival commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE. It is an eight day long festival where Jews all around the globe celebrate by exchanging greetings, playing games, eating traditional food like potato latkes and doughnuts (sufganiyot) along with main course of Brisket. Draped in blue and white dresses and prayer shawls they celebrate with a ritual which is very close to my heart,of lighting of a menorah, or eight-branched candelabra, to recall the miracle of oil found in the temple. The oil was only enough for one day, but it burned for eight.
My neighbor is lighting the menorah and me and Aaliyah will be joining them during the prayers and festivities. We are believers. The first night he lights only the shammus(the one at a different height) and with it he lights one Chanukkah candle, one candle is added to the menorah each night. By eighth night we light all candles.
When he lights the candles he holds it for a while in his hands and recites the blessings and we pray along with him. The sound of prayer is the most soothing one no matter in which language it is sung. It is the voice of true faith and surrender. It is the feeling of being taken care, it is the declaration of abundance and universal divinity.
On the first night of Menorah the prayer recited is “Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen),” It is filled with gratefulness and humble acceptance of his grace which alone sustains us.
Just before lighting the other candles beautiful prayers are said, “Blessed are you, Lord, our God, sovereign of the universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the lights of Chanukkah. (Amen).”
The serenity that comes over all of us after saying these prayers and listening to them sing in Hebrew is a miracle in itself. The mind which is mostly crowded with thoughts and worries suddenly comes to a tranquil state of pause and every worry transcends into peace and joy. All blames and claims drop and you feel a oneness with the universe.
I often say a prayer for all my folks and friends. I say a prayer of love for all those who are sending our greetings to their loved ones. I say a prayer to be the messenger of the angel and inspire all to be together.
Wishing all of you a blessed and Happy Hanukkah!
Reach out and bless each other with our choicest ecards on the magic of Hanukkah!
Don’t forget to send one to me here.
Cheers! See you in the comments.