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		                                    Thinking Torah Blog		                                </span>

12/22/2022 05:00:00 PM

Dec22

Cantor Regina Lambert-Hayut

During Chanukah, we have a special Haftarah portion from Zechariah which contains the famous line immortalized in song by Debbie Friedman: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, said YHWH of hosts. 

Chanukah celebrates the military victory of the Maccabees followed by the miracle of the oil upon the rededication of the Temple. Chanukah, however, offers us much more than this narrow view of Jewish history. 

Professor Eric M. Meyers of Duke University argued that “[Chanukah] is also a festival that celebrates the victory of the human spirit and the universal desire for peace at most any cost. As we know from other sources, neither the Maccabees nor their Herodian successors rejected Hellenism; rather, we know very well that, like the rabbis after the fall of the Temple in 70 CE, all embraced the contemporary world of Greco-Roman culture, which allowed Jews to prosper and thrive in a multicultural world.”

We indeed are able to thrive in our multi-cultural world with its interesting challenges and opportunities. Once again, our Jewish holiday coincides with an important Christian holy day and our relationship with St. Clare’s is a poignant reminder that we are one human family even though we may have different, particularistic observances. 

As we prepare to celebrate Shabbat during Chanukah, we recall the words of Zechariah and seek to thrive in our multicultural world. As we continue to increase our light, we also make room for our friends at St. Clare’s to enjoy their special time of celebration. We pray that the approaching storm will not adversely impact our celebration of Chanukah and their celebration of Christmas!

In order to celebrate fully, we need to assure the safety and well being of our community and our custodial staff. Therefore, we will be cancelling our outdoor Chanukiyah lighting on Friday and Saturday evenings and have moved our Shabbat service to zoom only. Since there is a possibility that some of us may lose electricity, should you need, here is a list of places that can serve as warming centers in our area:  https://www.washtenaw.org/DocumentCenter/View/29101/Winter-Weather-Havens-2022

Tue, January 31 2023 9 Sh'vat 5783