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Reb Lisa's Message


One of the unique things about Hanukkah is that it straddles two Hebrew months. Hanukkah begins on the 25th of the month of Kislev and concludes on the 2nd (or 3rd) of Tevet. This hints at something important. The light of Hanukkah spills into the next month and continues to illuminate the darkness during this time of year.

Perhaps we can consider this metaphorically as well. As we consider the dark places in our own lives, in our communities, in the world, we can imagine the glowing lights of the menorah. We see the light increase in illumination and intensity from the first to the eighth day, from Kislev to Tevet, and beyond. On the Hebrew calendar, it is now the 4th of Tevet. We’ve likely cleaned up our hanukkiyot and put them away. But that does not mean the light needs to be extinguished or diminished.

In the words of Peter, Paul, and Mary in their classic Hanukkah song, Light One Candle:

Don't let the light go out!

It's lasted for so many years!

Don't let the light go out!

Let it shine through our love and our tears.

Hanukkah is decidedly over. But we can keep our internal menorah burning brightly. It’s upon us to keep these lights burning brightly–a light that has kept us, and light that brings hope and tikkun (repair) to the world. It is upon us to shine our lights in the dark places around us, the places that threaten the Jewish people, all who are targeted and on the margins. Don’t let the light go out! Let it shine through our love and our tears.

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