Torah Tidbits


Recipe for Success: Dedication and Gratitude
Shabbat Parashat Mikketz – Chanukah Day 3!
Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh
November 30, 2013 – 27 Kislev 5774

Recipe for Success: Dedication and Gratitude

I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving to the fullest…!  And, I hope that you are continuing to enjoy Chanukah – not only for its traditional foods, but also for the spirit of family, of community, and of dedication, that it represents.

As the days get shorter and winter sets in, the good that we hold up as an ideal worth striving for, coupled with thanks for the blessings of life, take center stage in our Chanukah celebrations and rituals.

This Shabbat, as we light Chanukah candles right before we kindle the Shabbat lights, we feel the heightened intensity of our commitment to making this world a better place, one day at a time.    Each candle sheds a bit of light on our dedication to Jewish values and on our commitment to care not only about ourselves, but about those around us.   And, each candle reminds us of the things for which we are grateful.

It is the inner light of our souls, mirrored in the light of the Shabbat and Chanukah candles, that reminds us that we can dedicate our lives to increasing peace, understanding, and holiness in the world.  That same light reminds us that, at times, we must be prepared to defend these principles and values, as did our ancestors, in ancient times.

This Shabbat, as we recite the blessing for the upcoming new Jewish month of Tevet, let us hope and pray that our efforts to increase light and blessing in the world will bring us closer to the fulfillment of the vision of our prophets – a world of true and lasting peace, of justice of love, and of respect for people of all religions, races and creeds, speedily and in our time.  We pray that our dedication and our gratitude will translate into a practical recipe for tikkun olam, the betterment of the world.

May the month of Tevet, which will begin with the observance of Rosh Chodesh Tevet on Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday of this coming week, be a month of joy, of health and of peace for all!

Shabbat Shalom and a very Happy Chanukah!

Rabbi Gilah Dror