Tonight we kindle the eight lights of Chanukah. During the time of the Macabees, Chanukah signified the miracle of the few over the many, darkness illuminated by a light that increased each day. Take a few minutes to contemplate the power of darkness and the power of light. In darkness we are lonely, fearful, ashamed, oppressed. In a dark room we cannot see where we are going or what we are doing. If darkness fills every inch of space in a room, we are blind. But light one match, one candle; the amount of space taken up by the flame is minuscule compared to the space occupied by darkness, yet that tiny flame can illuminate the entire room. And if each day you add even a little more light, the darkness becomes less daunting, until the eighth night when all the flames are lit and darkness is no more! This is the miracle of Chanukah. In that regard, the miracle of Chanukah continues to occur each day. We learn from an historical event, but the miracle continues and is real today. Every kind word or good deed is a flame that illuminates the darkness of someone’s spirit. Every joyful expression, act of compassion, or sympathy extended, we contribute to the miracle of someone’s life. Each time we shed a little light for someone else to see their way forward, and with every prayer we utter to benefit the spirit of some soul and thus the spirit of this world, we are kindling the Chanukah light! A miracle occurs!
If you are able on this last night of Chanukah, draw up a seat near the Menorah, gaze at the flames as they flicker, and begin to reflect on the miracles you have experienced in life. After a while, one begins to realize that life itself is a miracle of magnificent proportion. Reflect on times when you felt G-d’s hand guiding you, times when you were saved from danger, times when the odds were stacked against you yet a miracle occurred and you prevailed. As you reflect on the miracles of your life, and the miracles of Chanukah, open to the wonder of your life and the events that have brought you to this place in this time.
Just like the menorah whose light grows with each day, others will begin to reflect back the light, too, much like a window reflects back the light of each Chanukah flame and the miracle it represents.
Finally, as you recognize the Chanukah miracle that lives within you, and with the acceptance of your life’s current reality, be open to receive greater!
I humbly thank you for taking a Chanukah journey with me this year. It has been a blessing for me to review and reflect on the meaning of Chanukah, the customs we observe, games we play, food we eat, and to share this special holiday with you. As we head into the new year, may you be blessed with prosperity of body, mind and soul; may you celebrate life’s joys, grieve its losses, and carry the miracle of Chanukah where ever you travel.
Chag Chanukah Sameach!
- A story of a Jewish soldier fighting in George Washington’s Army. (drschiffman.wordpress.com)
- The vessel & the light: a chanukah perspective on modesty (baalteshuvablog.wordpress.com)
29 thoughts on “Eight Lights”
thank you cecilia for the whole journey, a welcome education about chanukah, told in your inspiring and enlightening way!
Thank you, dadirr17. I’m glad you came along with me. May the new year be filled with light.
Gosh, you’re right. It just takes one tiny light to overcome a huge amount of darkness. I hadn’t actually thought of that before.
Another great post, Cecelia. Happy Chanukah, my friend.
Thanks Kathy. Happy holidays~ALL of them! and may you have a wonderful 2012.
…and a beautiful journey it was! Thank you Cecelia!
Thank you, Rebekah. I’m glad you came along for the ride! Have a wonderful new year.
Beautiful thoughts and post, Cecelia.
It is better to light a candle . . . than to stumble in the dark. 😀
Thanks Nancy. Glad you came along for each day’s post. It was good for me to review and share the different aspects of Chanukah. Thanks, too, for the quote? 🙂 It is a good reminder that light is indeed stronger than the dark! Have a wonderful 2012!
Cecelia, thank you so much for taking the time to post your beautiful and meaningful essays during the eight nights of Chanukah. You have helped me learn much about your celebration of light that I did not know.
Barbara, I am so glad you liked learning about Chanukah. I enjoyed writing about our holiday and sharing it with so many people. I find that it is too easy to get caught up in the activity of the holiday (and all holidays) to the point of overlooking the meaning of what we celebrate. This was good for me. And I truly appreciate the fact that you came along with us. May 2012 be all good.
Very well written and meaningful post! Thanks for the reference too!
Thank you, Baal Teshuva! May you be blessed with simchas, brachos, nachos and prosperity throughout 2012 and beyond!
Thank you for teaching us about the miracle of Chanukah. I’ve so enjoyed watching and learning about this festival of light. Shalom!
Thanks, Theresa. It has been fun for me, too. I’m glad you enjoyed the learning. Here’s hoping 2012 is a good one for you.
Thank you for the journey! I especially love the lines, “After a while, one begins to realize that life itself is a miracle of magnificent proportion.” I completely agree with you.
Have a wonderful day!
Thanks Louise. I’m glad you enjoyed this eight-day journey. You, too, have a wonderful day and a truly meaningful, blessed 2012!
You are inspiring me to light a candle tonight when I go downstairs to meditate. To remember what this means…to honor that this sacred celebration can settle into our heart and mind and continue to flame during the upcoming year. Thank you!
Yes! Wouldn’t it be great if we could remember the Chanukah lights, the miracles that we carry in our hearts throughout the year? I will try. Thank you for your comment, and for stopping by this evening. Have a wonderful 2012.
Cecilia, I haven’t been able to keep up with your posts over the last few days, but I intend to go back and read them in sequence later. Thanks for sharing them.
Thanks nuvofelt. I tried to do something different each day of Chanukah to familiarize folks with different aspects of the holiday. Hope you enjoy them. Thanks for stopping by.
Cecilia, thank you so much for sharing these posts on the meaning of Chanukah. My husband and I lit the candles each night, contemplating the beauty of each intention. What an amazing experience! Your posts helped us to understand a little more of what it is all about.
Thanks Amy. I am touched that the Chanukah posts meant something to you. May you carry the light with you into the new year.
Just a special thank you to you for all of your Chanukah posts. They have increased my understanding enriched my life.
Thank you! That is so sweet. I posted each day of Chanukah because I know that most of the people who read this blog know very little about the reason for the holiday, or the reasons for some of our customs. I did it as a way of increasing understanding, and your words attesting to that fact, humbles me and brings joy. All of you who have responded so positively have touched my soul. Thank you for stopping by, and for leaving a comment.
I’ve really enjoyed this series, Cecelia. Thank you for sharing your Chanukah journey with us. 🙂
Thank you Robin. I am so glad you enjoyed the series. 🙂
Life itself is the bigger miracle…. Thank you for sharing this Chanukah season with all of us. The photos were superb too. 🙂
Thanks Elizabeth. It was a special season for us, too.