On Tuesday afternoon, aromas of sizzling cauliflower pancakes and lemon olive oil cookies filled the halls of Shaare Torah. As our Jewish Culture Club gathered for a cooking demo, my tummy rumbled with excitement; Hanukkah is in the air!
This afternoon, I am headed to Leisure World to celebrate Hanukkah with our community members there. During our 8-day-long Festival of Lights, we have many opportunities to gather, connect and nosh in community. We hope you will join us at our Hanukkah celebrations for families with kids 5-and-Under, families with children in grades K-7, teen latke-making event, adults-only party at the Greenwald home, and Jewish Culture Club Chinese food brunch. We also look forward to gathering with our community, friends and neighbors of all ages and backgrounds on Monday, the second night of Hanukkah to light our big menorah, lakeside at RIO, to share our light and our gratitude for the miracles that have sustained our people in each generation. This year, we are trying out a new way of performing the mitzvah of פרסומי ניסא (pirsumei nisa), “publicizing the miracle,” as we bring Hanukkah to public space.
Jewish Studio Project, an organization dedicated to sparking and cultivating creativity in Jewish spiritual practice, shared a teaching about Hanukkah and how we can do this practice of פרסומי ניסא (pirsumei nisa) from our homes.
“While Chanukah candles are usually lit at home, we are encouraged to make the light visible not only to those within our home, but to those outside as well. The phrase that captures this practice is פרסומי ניסא (pirsumei nisa) — literally “to make public the miracle.” We publicize the miracle of Chanukah by placing our menorah outside the door of our house, or in a window that faces the street. At a time of year when the days grow shorter and colder and we retreat inward into our own safe and cozy spaces, if we are lucky enough to have them, Chanukah compels us to stay connected to the larger world — to shine our light into the spaces that might not feel as safe and cozy to us.”
Wishing you and your loved ones a meaningful and joyful Hanukkah. May we give each other the courage to shine our light. May we know the power of our light to make a difference in the lives of others and in our world.