Shabbat Parashat Vayeshev Hanukkah – Day 2 Shabbat Mevarekhim HaChodesh Happy Hanukkah

Dear Friends,

I don’t know about you, but I share with you now that, to me, this Hanukkah is different from all Hanukkahs that we have experienced.

How so?

We may be ready to light a new candle each night and to recite the blessings, but I would guess that many of us, like myself, feel that we have been burning the proverbial candle at both ends for the past 10 months….How much longer can we keep on going?

That’s where the miracle of the 8 days of Hanukkah comes in. The oil was only enough for one day, yet, somehow, it managed to last a full eight days.

Now, it is our turn to experience this miracle. As we light the first candle, and then the second candle and so on, may we have the strength to keep lighting the candles each night and to keep on supporting one another until we get to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am trying to envision a way to imbue each night of Hanukkah with a special energizing, individual and creative prayer.

Here are the 8 prayer ideas that I am offering as “prompts” or suggestions for a creative prayer for each of the 8 nights of Hanukkah:

  1. A prayer for our health care providers and for our first responders.
  2. A prayer for our children and for our future.
  3. A prayer for strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
  4. A prayer for freedom, for peace, for diversity and for inclusivity.
  5. A prayer for our country, for our community, for our congregation and for our families.
  6. A prayer for Israel and for Jews everywhere.
  7. A prayer for healing of the body and of the soul.
  8. A prayer for light by which to follow our diverse sacred paths.

Feel free to create your own prayers and to share them with your family and friends. We need prayers. We need family and we need friends. The world is more beautiful if we stand side by side.

Let’s be there for one another as best as we can. And, may our souls light up the world more beautifully each day, just as the light of the Hanukkah candles grows more strikingly beautiful with each added candle on the 8 nights of Hanukkah.

This Friday night, we light the Hanukkah candles before we light the Shabbat candles! And we recite two blessings as we light the Hanukkah candles:

Baruch Atta Adonai, Eloheynu Melech HaOlam, asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

Baruch Atta Adonai, Eloheynu Melech HaOlam, she’assa nissim l’avoteynu, bayamim hahem U’va’zeman ha’zeh.

Then, we light the Shabbat candles as usual, before sunset!

In addition, this Shabbat we recite the prayer for the new Jewish month of Tevet. Rosh Chodesh Tevet will be on Tuesday night and on Wednesday. May it be a month of joy, of healing and of blessing.

Enjoy the light of tradition and of creativity, enjoy Chag HaUrim [The Fesitival of Lights] which is another name for Hanukkah, enjoy Shabbat, and enjoy the month of Tevet!

Shabbat Shalom and a very Happy Hanukkah!

Rabbi Gilah Dror