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A Word from Rabbi Schulman - 12/11/2020

Chanukah is fundamentally a home-based holiday. You light candles, say blessings, sing songs, tell of the heroism of the Maccabees, and eat fried foods.

But of course, there are many ways to add further layers of meaning to the festival. During this time of pandemic, I find particularly moving Rabbi Dara Lithwick’s accounting for heroes in our own age who are battling the coronavirus. She has created a poignant reading before each Chanukah candle lighting. You can find her Everyday Heroes/Miracles Embodied on page 6 of this workbook.

The story of Chanukah lends itself to multiple opportunities for conversation. The Maccabees fought for the right to live freely as Jews. What battles are being waged today for religious freedom? Their initial rebellion had little chance of succeeding. What struggles today for justice seem insurmountable yet give you hope for success? The little cruse of oil lasted not one day, but eight. What miracle do you pray for in the coming week?

On a lighter note, most of us have our favorite songs for Chanukah. Here is a playlist of 46 songs you can access with ease. The list includes all the classics, along with newer songs by the Maccabeats, Indigo Girls, and A Hamilton Chanukah!

May you find hope, strength, and joy during your celebration of Chanukah.

Chag Sameach!


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