Adding Your Light to Chanukah


Our Chanukah prayersOur prayers range from lofty (“world peace”) to social-justice-inclined (“equality for all”) to personal (“have a baby”). Together, they make up a portrait of who we are.

This week at the DCJCC, during every night of Chanukah, our community added our own prayers, hopes and wishes – lights for the season – a project that was kicked off by GLOE’s program on the first night: 8 Ways to Make Your Chanukah More Meaningful. One of those ways was to consider, beyond the usual brachot, what do we want to consider? What hopes do we want to put out into the world? As a group, let us set our intentions, and work towards them in whatever way we can.

In a happy accident, the display board was positioned under an air vent, so our flames actually flicker. Throughout the week, I saw people drawn to the menorah, reading someone’s prayer for unity, a child’s hope for a turtle and that no one gets hurt, others’ hopes for the messiah, disarmament, political wins, food for the hungry, a job.

I was drawn to one in particular: “Peace of heart for everyone.” I liked that it’s both lofty and pragmatic: we need to hope for the big things – peace, love, life – but in the unlikely event that all those big things don’t happen right away, let’s also find a way to be at peace with whatever’s happening now in our lives.

Our lights will be on display in the lobby until the end of the week, and I hope you’ll come and read a few.

Then, we’ll take down these little sticky notes, put the board away and collapse the easel it stands on. As for the “lights” themselves, they’ll flicker as long as we remain dedicated to whatever it was we hoped for and took the time to write out.

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