By Susan Rosenthal, LMSW
Hanukkah Lights in the Darkness
During Hanukah we seek to enhance the light in a season when the days are short. It is a time to seek miracles in a world that desperately longs for healing light for the spirit.
The Jewish Health, Healing and Recovery Network prepared a new resource where you will find personal reflections from individuals who found some healing through the lights of Hanukah in the midst of their personal darkness and through the traditions of this festival. You will find this resource on our website in the Resources section.
On Hanukah, we gather around the chanukiyah, gaze upon these lights that proclaim layer upon layer of miracles and enjoy traditional foods cooked in oil such as latkes and sufganiyot (jelly donuts). On these eight nights we hope to celebrate with those who bring meaning to our lives-our families, friends, worship and volunteer communities, and colleagues at work. Yet, many of us may be alone, finding it challenging to connect with others as we struggle in the shadow of darkness.
At this Hanukah season we invite you to be mindful of the darkness that affects many in our community. Some of those who struggle with darkness are present at our family and community gatherings, while others face their challenges in isolation. These challenges are both individual and communal: illness, divorce, loss and bereavement, domestic violence, addiction, care-giving, depression and living with the threat of terrorism. Each challenge has unique aspects, but they also share universal themes. What ties them together is the hope of experiencing light and strength in the midst of darkness.
We offer this resource as one way of increasing light. We hope you find words that speak to you in the midst of your darkness and offer a glimpse of light. We hope you find words that inspire you to be a light in someone else's life. Offer that light to someone you already know and care about or to someone new, since we often do not know who is wrestling with what kind of challenges.
These "Spirituality Notes" are excerpts from our monthly E-newsletter. Articles are © JBFCS Rita J. Kaplan Jewish Connections Programs and may be reprinted free of charge as long as this credit line is included.