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Eight glowing thoughts for the eight nights of Hanukkah

NOVEMBER 28, 2018 – Friends, as we gather with our children, dear ones, and community on this festival, it is well for us to seek special meaning in each flame, just as we seek to see each person as unique and possessing unique qualities. The readings here are meant to be read with young and old on each night of Hanukkah, and perhaps to encourage discussion of how each of us may fulfill the promise of Hanukkah: Rededication to that which is most sacred and affirming in our lives. Wishing all a very joyous Festival of Lights.

New Readings For The Eight Nights Of Hanukkah 5779

First Night:
This is the candle of Home and of Love. Let us give thanks for the light we shed on our family members and our dear ones as we speak words of kindness and show appreciation to one another.

Second Night:
This is the candle of Torah. When we say, “Torah Orah,” we describe Torah as light, a symbol of knowledge. May this light encourage us to study and to be open to learning something new every day of our lives.

Third Night:
This is the candle of Liberty. The Maccabees fought for the right to practice our religion in freedom. May this light encourage us to hold fast to our traditions as we fight for the rights of all people to seek an end to oppression. As our Torah teaches, “You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land, and to all who dwell in it.”

Fourth Night:
This is the candle of Courage: We need strength to face the darkness around us, to be brave in meeting our personal challenges and overcoming the obstacles that stand in our way. As Moses said to Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage!”

Fifth Night:
This is the candle of Fairness. A good society must provide justice for all and treat each person with compassion. Our tradition teaches us to “seek justice and pursue it.” May we work to provide food, shelter, and fair treatment to everyone.

Sixth Night:
This is the candle of Faith. May the candles we light on this night renew our faith in our fellow human beings, and in our ability to reveal sparks of God in every act of goodness.

Seventh Night:
This is the candle of Holiness. Holiness means that we choose to be the best we can be. The Jewish people were commanded to be a holy people, and to be a light to all the nations of the world.

Eighth Night:
This is the candle of Shalom. May these candles inspire us to create wholeness and healing in the world around us. May God’s light shine upon us and bring us, our dear ones, our community, and our entire world, the blessing of peace.

Rabbi David Kudan is the spiritual leader of Temple Tiferet Shalom in Peabody.

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