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Happy Chanukah Ireland

December 1, 2010

This evening Jews all over the world began the celebration of Chanukah. Not a celebration of rebellion or  the overthrow of the Greeks – we celebrate the re-dedication of the temple. The miracle celebrated is one of  faith and light  – the oil found when the temple was reclaimed was only enough to light the ritual lamp for one day; it lasted eight. We recall this by lighting candles every night for eight nights. On the first night one, the second two and so on. The holiday – at this darkest time of the year reminds us that with faith and a commitment to re-dedication every night brings an ever increasing amount of light.

Perhaps that is a lesson for all of us in Ireland in this the bleakest of times. We are required only to reclaim our power. To re-dedicate ourselves to the work of living this one day. Our energy – our light is likely to last another day and another, and my guess is it will miraculously last as long as need be.  It was true of our forbearers let it also be true of us. We needn’t be invested in the outcome, we need to be invested in the process.

In another bit of ancient wisdom: Ours is not to complete the task, but neither may we desist from the labour.

As with every Jewish holiday it is begun with a prayer of thanksgiving. Thank you to the creator, for giving us life, for sustaining us and for helping us to reach this moment. I do not know why this had to be our moment in history, but I have every confidence that as long as we are choosing life we will be able to sustain each other in reaching the next moment.

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