As we go deeper into the month of Kislev and December arrives, it is the perfect season to enhance our lighting at Shaare Torah. Crews have been on site this week changing our lights to LED ones and adding and updating outdoor lighting on our grounds. Abraham strung special, blue lights throughout our lobby to bring the spirit of Hanukkah.
In the past week, we have seen sparks of light in the release of 110 people who had been cruelly taken hostage by Hamas on October 7th, and in emotional reunions of families. We pray for their healing. We pray for the well-being of our soldiers as the Israel-Hamas war continues. We are still tending to broken hearts for the thousands of people who have been killed on October 7th, and since that day, as well as those killed in a terror attack yesterday morning in Jerusalem. It is a heavy and raw time. During these days of changing light, we are on an emotional roller coaster.
A friend shared the cartoon below this week, of a harried person leaving the office, putting on a bear suit and finding a cozy place to hibernate. As we seek the light, the chilled winter air also reminds us of our bodies’ primary need to rest, recover, sleep and dream. Week after week, no matter where our ancestors have dwelled, as our people have weathered uncertainty and persecution, Shabbat has arrived to sing us a lullabye, to rock us into deep rest with a promise that the light of hope shines eternal.
May you give yourself permission to slow down, snuggle up and schluff this Shabbat.
In our parsha this week, Vayishlach, we read the gutting story of Dinah, the daughter of Leah, who is a survivor of sexual assault. I wrote a poem/midrash that imagines Dinah’s response to the gender-based violence in Israel perpetrated on October 7th and the world’s indifference.
With all the Daughters of the Land, may we know healing, life and light.