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Ta Shema: December 1, 2023

Publicize the Miracle–Banish the Darkness

Did you know that there are a lot of rules around lighting the Hanukkiah? One is supposed to light the candle in a way that would make it most seen–ideally outside or easily seen from the street and during the time when masses of people are returning home from their work or a day out. As the sun is setting, the little candles are setting off their own light into the darkness–banishing it, if only for a little while.

On Hanukkah, we publicize the miracle–both the miracle of the oil, as well as the miracle of the victory of the Jews against the large enemy army that sought to destroy us. This Hanukkah, we are all too familiar with war–both the ongoing hostilities in Israel as well as the 400% rise of antisemitism here at home. This has been a trying and exhausting time for us. I hope that Hanukkah will be a time that we can all recharge our spiritual batteries, just as the holiday was designed to do.

There are many ways to publicize the miracle. One way is to continue to spread light on social media.

ExploringJudaism.com is starting a #BeAMaccabee campaign. You can share moments of your own Jewish pride on social media with that hashtag, or click the link below to submit a short story of your Jewish pride that might be featured on their website:

https://www.exploringjudaism.org/beamaccabee/?fbclid=IwAR1XyFe4JKXbPu6vjouFe6bs72-j1UuafZuVbKnxehOKYRfFT6ltphVBZsE

You can also light up social media by continuing to share material from the Social Media Toolkit from the March for Israel, including the image from our Wilmington Delegation. It was a true labor of love to get our delegation there, and private thank yous will be sent to our angels who made that happen. We learned that day that when Jews stand together against antisemitism, they do so with love of America, dignity for all those impacted by the ongoing way, Jewish Pride, and steadfast support of Israel. You can find images and quotes to share on social media here:

https://www.marchforisrael.org/social-media-toolkit/

This Hanukkah, do not let the darkness banish our light. Please register for our many Hanukkah events listed in the newsletter and our website. And please, display your menorah proudly and put up some decorations. My house has four inflatable Hanukkah bears, twinkly outdoor menorah lights, a dreidel laser light, and festive signs with holiday symbols. See for yourself! It has become the highlight of Shlomi’s evening to see the ridiculous bears inflate. If you are too afraid to do so at your house, you can drive by my house nightly! It is my honor to do my part to add some light, and a healthy dose of humor, to banish the darkness.

As is best said in a traditional Israeli song for the season:

Banu choshech legaresh, beyadeinu or va'esh.
Kol echad hu or katan, vechulanu or eitan.

Surah choshech, hal'ah sh'chor! Surah mipnei ha'or!

We came to drive away the darkness in our hands is light and fire. 

Everyone's a small light, and all of us are a firm light.

Fight darkness, further blackness! Fight because of the light!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaTCaWV3x9Y

 

  

 

 

Shabbat Shalom and Hag Urim Sameah (Happy Festival of Lights),

Rabbi Bender

Sun, March 3 2024 23 Adar I 5784