I pack up the Chanukah box this week and send it off to my son and his girlfriend. It’s filled with a shiny new menorah, candles, a food grater and matzo meal for the latkes. There is chocolate and strong coffee and a silly card about how many latkes one can eat. I send a CD with Chanukah music and the words to the prayer he already knows by heart.
Ba-ruch ata, A-do-nai E-lo-hei-nu, me-lech ha-o-lam, a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mits-vo tov, ve-tsi-va-nu le-had-lik neir shel Chan-nu-kah.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.
A dear friend of mine looses her husband this week, tragically, too soon. She receives friends at the calling hours, hugging each one as if the light inside them will help her stand.
Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished. ~Michael Strassfeld
My husband, a teacher, is struggling with a group of really disruptive kids. They are loud, rude and disrespectful and they challenge his confidence as a teacher. I commiserate with his struggles, suggesting a trip to the principal’s office or a phone call home. His face softens, ‘these are all good kids,” he tells me “they just have troubles.” I find him in his office early this morning rewriting study sheets looking for ways to reach them
We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own. ~Ben Sweetland
My brother’s family car breaks down this week, and the washer, and the furnace, and his youngest drops the camera and it no longer works. There’s more but…frankly that’s enough to tell. Last night with a borrowed car, he treks about with his family searching for the perfect tree. Afterwards, the children and his wife fall asleep curled on the couch as he strings the lights.
Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~Maori Proverb
A colleague waits as her brother lives his last days. The doctors have finally managed his pain and he is peaceful and thoughtful. They sit together answering questions of the cosmos. She shares this gift with me.
In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose
The first Christmas card arrives in my mailbox. It comes from a family friend, a man who in the recent past lost his son and his wife. This year he had a stroke, he now speaks only with great effort. In a trembling hand it is signed, “with love, Ed”
Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light. ~Jean Giraudoux
I wake this morning in the darkness, hoping the day will bring me stillness. It has been a week of bad news and struggles for so many around me and yet somehow, I trust the light.
Someday perhaps the inner light will shine forth from us, and then we’ll need no other light. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe