For many years I have tried to learn more about my culture. Hanukkah is especially interesting to me. I was raised with the children’s version of Hanukkah. There is so much more than what I was originally taught.
While I was working, I taught a lesson for each day of Hanukkah to my teacher staff. I would leave a stack of papers explaining something about Hanukkah. Then I would leave a basket filled with a treat for that day. Sometimes it was homemade brownies. Sometimes it was sewing kits. Sometimes it was Christmas cookie cutters. It was joyful to be sharing my holiday with others.
The last few years I have also been researching different prayers and meanings for each night. I looked in my stash and found a PDF of “new” blessings. The sad reality is that it was published five years ago, and not much, if any, progress has been made.
I do not know how to upload a PDF, so I copied it onto a word doc and am pasting it here.
We are in December, 2020 – 5781
This article was published in 5776. I wonder what progress we have made in the last five years.
Bringing Light to the Darkness
From Jewish Reconstructionist Communities and Ritualwell.org – Hanukkah 5776
Hanukkah falls at the darkest time of the year. Light wanes and each day is darker than the one that came before. This year, as Hanukkah approaches we have also been inundated with horrific news from around the globe. Stories of hatred and despair—both at home and abroad—remind us of the immense work that remains to create a world where we can all live in peace.
This year, as we light the Hanukkah candles, let us transform this darkness into light.
Ritualwell, our website for innovative ritual, has created these new blessings to be recited throughout the nights of Hanukkah. With each new candle may we be reminded of the corners of our universe calling out for this light, so that we may send this light to the people and places so in need of illumination.
Try one of these new blessings in addition to or instead of the traditional candle lighting blessings. Recite a different prayer each night, or focus on one specific blessing throughout the holiday. We hope these prayers allow you to name the darkness that clouds our vision, and will remind all of us of the divine spark that dwells within. This Hanukkah season, let’s rededicate ourselves to do our part to increase this light throughout the world.
Day 1: Bringing light to the darkness of the global refugee crisis. Blessed are You, SOURCE OF REFUGE, who shelters us under your wings and who teaches us the value of welcoming the stranger.
Day 2: Bringing light to the darkness of the indignity of the wage crisis. Blessed are You, PROVIDER, who calls us to provide a living wage so that every person has the opportunity to support themselves and their family.
Day 3: Bringing light to the darkness of our climate crisis. Blessed are You, LIFE OF ALL THE WORLDS, who turns us away from destructive habits and who teaches us to preserve our earth for future generations.
Day 4: Bringing light to the darkness of racial injustice Blessed are You, SUPERNAL ADVOCATE, who testifies to the tragic state of race relations in our country and who calls us to create a nation where all are judged according to the content of their character, not the color of their skin.
Day 5: Bringing light to the darkness of antisemitism. Blessed are You, ROCK OF ISRAEL, who gives us strength to hold fast to our beliefs and the courage to openly celebrate our heritage and traditions.
Day 6: Bringing light to the darkness of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Blessed are You, SHELTER OF PEACE, who shepherds us to the path of safety, dignity, and self-determination for all who dwell in the holy land.
Day 7: Bringing light to the darkness of random violence. Blessed are You, PILLAR OF STRENGTH, who mourns with us the loss of culture and history, strengthens us to defend the sanctity of human life, and who compels us to shield our world from further senseless violence.
Day 8: Shining our light throughout the year Blessed are You, CREATOR OF LIGHT, who has placed within us your divine spark and who inspire us to pursue justice and seek peace.
Jewish Reconstructionist Communities • @rrccommunity • facebook.com/rrccommunity Ritualwell • @ritualwell • facebook/ritualwell
Mayim explains Hanukkah.