Sunday, 9 December 2012

Happy Hanukkah

Chag Sameach Hanukkah
(Happy Hanukkah)
Tonight is the second night of Hanukkah.
And already it has been an interesting few days.
We are still going through the garage where our things are stored. Sadly, the quilt I had started for my little niece was amoung the things ruined.
We have not been able to find our big box of Hanukkah things, so I had to become created with the Hanukkiah.
The menorah is the seven branch lamp one finds in many a Jewish home. It is the smaller venison of the Lamp Stand spoken of in scripture. The menorah is also the national symbol of Israel.
For Hanukkah, however, we use an eight branch candelabrum for the Festival of Lights known as a Hanukkiah. This candelabrum also has added space for another candle, known as the shamash (servant). This is the candle we use to light the others.
So, with our hanukkiahs MIA, I had to become created. I pulled out all of my Shabbat candle stick holders and laying a white table cloth over a dinner tray, I placed nine candle sticks on the table, in front of our fireplace.
Against the red background of the fireplace, the small altar has taken on a soft, holy glow. Simple, yet elegant. Like the Holy Temple itself.
After saying the blessings and singing the songs, we just stood there, glazing at the soft candle lights, not speaking above a whisper.
The scenes remind me of the very first Hanukkah. As the priest found the Holy Temple defiled, they worked hard to clean it, to restore her back to her holy purpose and state. To rededicate the Holy Temple to her G-d.
That is the meaning of Hanukkah: Feast of Dedication or Rededication. The dedication of our homes, hearts, our lives to G-d. To remove those things that defile our bodies and souls, our homes. The Holy Place had been defiled by unclean men who knew not the G-d of Israel nor cared. Who, by offering swine on the very altar, knew the priest would never return to this place to worship. The scent of unclean men and swine blood still hung in the air.
What it in our lives that we must rid ourselves during this holy time?
Mark and I stared at the burning candles, rededicating ourselves to each other and to our Creator.
I am still looking at the lights.
 
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