Weekly On-line Rabbi's D'var-Torah
December 22, 2022
28 Kislev 5783
Just this morning, during my Talmud class, we read a discussion in the Tractate of Shabbat, from nearly 2,000 years ago, about whether it’s more important to physically light the Hanukkah lights or to place them in prominent location in order to publicize the miracle of Hanukkah. Ultimately, the rabbis decided that the most important thing is to light the Menorah, and that’s why our blessing thanks God for the mitzvah of lighting the lights. However, that doesn’t make the location of the lights insignificant. We still have an obligation to place the lights in a place that will get the most attention. Well, I have definitely lit the lights each night, but for three of those nights, I have had the pleasure of lighting Menorahs in some great places. On Sunday, I helped light the Menorah on the Village Green in Summit. There was a very nice turnout from all three Summit synagogues and some non-affiliated folks as well. In addition, it was great to see so many of our elected leaders and to hear the Mayor’s words of welcome. On Tuesday, I participated in the 16th annual Menorah lighting on the grounds of Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence. We started lighting a Menorah there after an unfortunate antisemitic incident. Pastor Mac (of blessed memory) came up with the idea. Pastor Jane has kept it going – even through the pandemic. It is one of my favorite events of the year. I always leave feeling great about our allies in the community. Then, on Wednesday, I lit the Menorah in our Sanctuary with the students of our JLC. I loved hearing them sing the blessings, reminding me that our tradition is being passed down to the next generation. So, it’s always nice to light the candles. But, as the rabbis of the Talmud knew, it’s even better when you light them in a special location. Enjoy the end of your Hanukkah celebration. Shalom, RAF.
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