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Got Hope? An Evening of Contemplative Study on the Significance of Hanukkah and its Relevance to This Moment in History
On Hanukkah, we celebrate the miracle of light! Gazing into the menorah, we open up our eyes to seeing the world, ourselves, and each other in a “new light.” We seek to see the light within the darkness, what Jewish mystics call the or haganuz, the Primordial light of creation,–a symbol of new beginnings, hope, and possibility. The legendary victory of the Maccabees over the powerful Assyrian Greek occupying forces suggests that “right” can defeat “might”—that miracles are possible. Similarly, the Talmudic tale of the single flask of oil that lasted for eight days,–a tale we have miraculously continued to tell for over 2000 years—is a testament to the universality of Hanukkah’s eternal message. We, today, face what can seem like insurmountable odds and the question is—will we succumb to despair and helplessness or will we keep hope alive and continue to fight to transform the world from what “is” to what “ought to be.” Drawing on teachings from Mussar and Chassidic thought, we will explore Hanukkah’s message of “hope, Tikvah” and the role of this middah in our lives.
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