Bazman December 2015

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3 .ON 94.LOV Bazman Hazeh

“In These Times”

Kislev - Tevet 5776

5102REBMECED

Andrew Straus, Rabbi David Shukiar, Cantor

Aliza Goland, Executive Director Marcy Goldberg, Director of Education Donna Becker, ECC Director

Peggy Frank, President, Board of Directors Alan Greenbaum, Rabbi Emeritus

oil that should have only lasted one day lasted for 8 days. The first day is our miracle, the other 7 days are God’s miracle. From the Rabbi’s Desk How many miracles does Chanukah celebrate? W

Rabbi Kalb goes on to teach that Chanukah is an important lesson to all of us about the partnership between humanity and God. If we but take one step in the right direction then God will take 7 steps in our direction. God is our partner, waiting and hoping that we will cause miracles to happen.

hat is the meaning of Chanukah? We are told that a great miracle happened in Jerusalem. The Maccabees stood up against the Greco-Syrians and fought for their freedom of religion. They conquered Jerusalem, they cleaned the Temple and prepared it for rededication. The final act was the lighting of the lamps. They searched the Temple and found only a

As we celebrate Chanukah this year, let us remember the dedication of the Maccabees and let us recommit ourselves to Jewish life and living. Each night, as you light the menorah with your family or friends, take a moment to appreciate the miracles that are all around us. Take a moment to talk about what you are dedicated to and in what ways are you a descendant of the Maccabees working to ensure the Jewish future. What miracles are you taking the first step towards? Let us remember that Jewish life does not just happen; it takes hard work and commitment. It also requires us to take risks, to believing that miracles will happen if we act first. As David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, taught us,

single cruse of undefiled oil, sealed by the High Priest. In it was oil enough for the needs of a single day. A miracle was wrought and it burned eight days. And so we celebrate Chanukah to remember the oil that lasted for 8 days. But my friend and colleague Rabbi David Kalb teaches the miracle really only lasted 7 days since there was enough oil for one day. The first day is no miracle at all, as there was enough oil for one day! So why do we celebrate Chanukah for 8 days? He suggests that Chanukah commemorates two miracles: one human and one divine. The human miracle was the dedication and commitment that the Maccabees had to Jewish life and

“Anyone who does not believe in miracles is not a realist.”

living, the risks that they were willing to take to ensure that Judaism survived despite persecution. The human miracle was that they cleaned the Temple and had the faith to light the one vial of oil, hoping and believing that it would last until enough oil could be produced. The second miracle was God’s miracle - the

Wishing you and yours a joyful, happy and bright Chanukah.

l’Shalom, Rabbi Andrew Straus

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