The Eighth Night Of Hanukkah

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 05: Lainey Schmitter (3rd L) lights a Menorah as U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L), first lady Michelle Obama (R) and Lainey’s mother Drew (L) look on during a Hanukkah reception at the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama hosted members of the Jewish community to celebrate the annual festival. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Chabad.org explains about what the importance of lighting the Hanukkah candles means.

What It Means For You

Noting that one should spend time in close proximity to the Chanukah lights, the Previous Rebbe would say, “We must listen carefully to what the candles are saying.” So what are the flickering flames telling us? Here are some messages:

a. Never be afraid to stand up for what’s right. Judah Maccabee and his band faced daunting odds, but that didn’t stop them. With a prayer on their lips and faith in their heart, they entered the battle of their lives—and won. We can do the same.

b. Always increase in matters of goodness and Torah-observance. Sure, a single flame was good enough for yesterday, but today needs to be even better.

c. A little light goes a long way. The Chanukah candles are lit when dusk is falling. Perched in the doorway, they serve as a beacon for the darkening streets. No matter how dark it is outside, a candle of G‑dly goodness can transform the darkness itself into light.

d. Take it to the streets. Chanukah is unique in that its primary mitzvah is observed in public. It’s not enough to be a Jew at heart, or even at home. Chanukah teaches us to shine outwards into our surroundings with the G‑dly glow of mitzvahs.

e. Don’t be ashamed to perform mitzvahs, even if you will feel different. Rather, be like a menorah, proudly proclaiming its radiant uniqueness for all to see.

 

The eighth night meditation:

Eighth Night—Dedicated to the Transcendence: The Rooftop

This is the show of lights that sparkles forth from self.
Imagine yourself standing upon a rooftop, enacting that ancient human rite of watching the night fall. As the blue deepens into black you witness a single star shutter forth, and another, and another. The darkness kindles starlight upon the sky as surely as you kindle light upon your menorah. By the time the eighth star appears the entire sky releases her storehouse of sparks. Dazzled by stars beyond count, you face the seeming infinity of space. Beholding this limitlessness from your rooftop perch, you are reminded of the infinity of your very soul.

The eighth and final light.

The menorah stands luminous before us. Ignited in its entirety. Complete. These eight lights are the grand finale of the entire Chanukah journey. And finales, with all their pageantry, always signal that we have reached an end. Just as the rooftop is the upper limit of the house, this is the limit of our Chanukah lights. And yet, just as standing upon the roof allows us to grasp a sense of the skies’ limitlessness, looking upon the 8 lights we are reminded of G‑d’s light, the or haganuz that has no end.

The eighth and final night is thus dedicated to transcendence. Just as the seven days of the week represent linear time and the completion of the physical, the number eight is an elegant leap beyond the linear, and beyond physicality. Eight represents transcendence. Just as miracles themselves transcend the limits of the physical realm, so does the number eight beckon us to transcendence.

Although the eighth night is the exuberant end of this holiday, it also hints at the limitless holiness of every day. Yes, there were eight nights of miraculous oil, but beyond that—every day holds its own miracles. When we are in touch with the infinite light of our own souls, the very rooftop of our selves, then we are in touch with the infinitude of G‑d. From that place, miracles are not only possible, they are a given. This final night of Chanukah celebrates our transcendent spirits, and G‑d’s promise of His miraculous daily presence in our lives.

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I did not get to play dreidel with the grandkids this year. I am grateful to have been able to gift them dreidels and gelt so they can play together.

I did not make latkes this year. I am grateful that I do not have to wait until next Hanukkah to make them. G-d willing my family will be together soon.

I did not get to read to the grandkids this year. I am grateful that I listened to many podcasts about my holiday.

I am grateful for getting to light my menorahs this year as always.

I am grateful I was able to donate items to some in need.

I am grateful to live in a place where I can display my Menorah in the window without persecution.

I am grateful for the calm I feel when saying the blessings over the candles.

I am grateful that I have my grandmother’s menorah. I hope it continues to be passed down the family line.

Happy Hanukkah

The one below made me giggle repeatedly.

Share Your World –

Melanie gives us questions each Monday that allows us to share our thoughts with other bloggers.

Questions:

What’s the tallest building you’ve been to the top of?

The CN Tower  is a 553.3 m-high (1,815.3 ft)   concrete communications and observation tower located in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Many, many years ago my spouse and I  drove to Toronto from Southern California to visit his family. They were in a suburb of Toronto. We went up in the tower and had dinner in the revolving tower. Then we went to the higher level and I stood at the outside edge. My spouse , who has a fear of heights would not go anywhere near the edge.

What do you do to keep fit? I take long hot baths in Epsom salts.

What’s your jack-o-lantern carved to look like? I haven’t carved a pumpkin in ages. A memory came across my email and Facebook reminding me of 5 years ago when Z1 was in the hospital. It was a scary time. 

Do you have hope or have you lost it? I have hope because without it there is no purpose to continue. “Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”- Samuel Smiles

Gratitude: I am grateful that the events of five years ago are in the past and all four of my grandkids are healthy.

Share Your World – July 6

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Melanie, at Sparks From A Combustible Mind brings us new questions to share our answers to.  Please join in the fun and share your world with the blogging community.

 

 

In your opinion, what’s the closest thing to real magic? My brain immediately went to sentimental answers like watching a grandchild being born, hope when you think there is none, and watching a child getting a new concept they have been struggling with.

Where is the worst smelling place you’ve been? Many years ago, when I was looking for a preschool for my daughter I entered a house with a preschool on the premises. The woman didn’t believe in diapers for toddlers and I witnessed little ones urinating on the wood floors. OMG, I did a fast retreat out of there.

What are some things that you’ve heard in your own life, which sounded like compliments but were actually insults? A principal I once had was an expert in this department. You would listen to her and think, did she actually say that? No one was exempt from her comments. In fact, we teachers would share them with each other. She would say things like, “That lesson would have been great if all the kids were paying attention.” “Your teammates really miss you now that they have to have more students.”  

What incredibly common thing have you never done?  I have never changed a tire on a car. I am glad that I have never needed to either.


Gratitude Section (Optional, as always) Please feel free to share some gratitude that you experienced during the past week! 

I am grateful for my lessened pain levels that have allowed me to work on purging things from my home.

 

Share Your World –

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Melanie posts four or five different questions each week for you to answer and share your world.  There are two ways which you can participate. You can make your own blog or comment on her post. Click the link above to see more of the rules.

Questions:

Have you ever ‘dined and dashed” (i.e. eaten the meal and then run out the restaurant door without paying)? I have never done a dine and dash. One time, long ago, before I had a credit card, I was mortified to realize that I did not have money for a tip. I apologized profusely to the server and told her I would come back later with a tip. I am sure she thought she would never see me again. I did return and doubled what it would have been. Boy was she surprised.

Have you ever been in a car accident and either left the scene of the accident (providing it was a fender bender and not serious) or denied culpability for causing it when you did, (if it were minor or serious)? I am a serial good two shoes. My first fender bender was when I was 19. When pulling out of the parking spot my GMC pick up bumped into the car next to me. I grabbed my baby and went into the store practically in tears. A kind woman came out and said it was nothing because her car already had so many scratches on it. She told me to take my baby and drive home safely. I don’t think that would ever happen nowadays.

(Oldie which has been asked many times before) Have you ever found a wallet or purse or some money (over $20) in the street and just taken it, thinking ‘finders keepers, losers weepers?   Or would you be ‘good’ and hand it in?  I have picked up a 20 on the street near no business and thanked the universe for it. I have also turned in money found in a shop to the counter. I have also given the server notice when he/she didn’t charge me for something on the bill. I do get a kick when they ask why I am telling them that I was undercharged. I believe in karma so, “do the right thing” feels right.

What was the last thing you stole or shoplifted?   If you never ever considered doing that, tell us your secret!   🙂  I haven’t stolen anything since I was a kid. I felt so guilty about stealing a candy bar that I told my mom and she made me march right back and confess to the storekeeper. I felt lower than low.

As a teen a friend of mine wanted to steal an LP. I wanted nothing to do with it but her parents were picking us up and I had to get my ride home. I told her I would meet her outside as I wanted nothing to do with the crime. I was waiting outside when she came out. She was followed by a security guard and placed in handcuffs. I stared at them both in fear. The guard said something to the effect that he knew I was not with her when she did it so I could go. I stood there outside for her parents to arrive and I had to tell them security had her for shoplifting. It was a long silent ride home in their car.

Gratitude: Melanie stated that she is giving a free pass if the desire to express gratitude isn’t in the cards for today. She then reblogged two posts. I read them and was greatly moved so I am putting her comment here.

From Melanie: Today I’m again giving folks a free pass from sharing (you’re still welcome to share if you want to of course) and re-blogging a really thought provoking post by Pam of Butterfly Sand.  This was brought to my attention by Di of Pensivity101.   Thanks to both awesome ladies for sharing a post that I’m very grateful I got to read. 

https://butterflysand.com/2020/06/21/the-domino-effect-2/

https://pensitivity101.wordpress.com/2020/06/21/a-thankless-post-2/

Now my gratitude: I am very grateful for a world of bloggers who have different backgrounds, different religions, different geographic locations, different philosophies, and yet are all kind and sharing of their writing talents. 

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Grateful Tuesday

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It was a wonderful day in my garden today.

I am grateful for my lovely tree with all its beautiful color. It has visits from hummingbirds, bees, birds, and pesky squirrels. It is a peaceful part of my yard that I enjoy most when it is filled with purple.

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 This jacaranda is in the lower yard. This is the view from my balcony,

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The two small trees in the upper yard have awesome yellow flowers. The bees love these blooms.

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The yellow daylilies are in various spots in my yard. Some years I have tons, but this year there have been only a few blooms. I am grateful every time I see one.

 

 

 

 

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The starlilies are in my front and back yards. They have had more blooms this year than any before.

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After watering everywhere Annie joins me on the swing. She makes every day a special day. When we go out front she has no leash. She stays right by my side. If someone passes by the house, she runs back through the house, and barks at them from the back yard.100852631_10156923896816290_2220485877145010176_o

 

 

Sunsets out back are lovely. I am grateful for my home and the joys I find in my gardens.