It starts tonight.
I’d like to invite you to join me, on each of the upcoming eight nights of lights, for a simple intention:
With each of our lights let‘s offer each other a light at the end of a tunnel, a ray of hope.
Each night offers an opportunity for focus on one form of darkness that we may want to name – and do something about.
Imagine this intention as one that can accompany your lighting of the candles, privately, or in conversation with others.
The goal is to make more meaning of this sacred ritual, rededicating ourselves each night to bringing on more light, with clearer focus and intention.
Scroll down for WHY, HOW, list of eight intentions, sources and links to real action
Candles are the oldest physical – metaphysical technology we got.
The lighting of the candles of Chanukah is about the power of light to diminish darkness.
Darkness has many faces: terror, tyranny, anxiety, depression, despair, illness, poverty, hatred, discrimination,violence, loneliness. Tunnels of darkness.
Chanukah candles are lit publicly, for all to see and remember the power of the possible.
The role of the candles is to remind us to turn on the lights for each other, to be each others’ ray in the dark. a light unto others.
Candles are public smiles. a single candle defeats darkness with ease just as simple acts of kindness can do so much to
alleviate hatred. The way a smile lights up a face.
1. Each night, light. From one to eight candles or the other way around.
(For basics refresher : How to Light Your Menorah )
2. Once the candles have been lit, take a moment to think of a specific darkness you want to focus on. (see one list below)
3. What can you do about it? See list of links below to chanukah and social justice activism, ideas, programs and opportunities
Consider: An intention, conversation, phone call, email, hug, donation, public call to action.
4. Occupy darkness. discuss, but don’t stay there. It’s a holiday. move on to focus on how the light can change.
5. Repeat eight nights.
Night 1: The Darkness of Dignity: human rights, human dignity and freedom – where is the darkness that troubles me? who are the sources of light? how can I help?
Night 2: The Darkness of Greed: In this climate of calling for more economic justice – what do I recognize as the darkness, sources of light, and how can I help?
Night 3: The Darkness of Disease: What darkness related to health is on my mind tonight? in my heart? What can I do to help?
Night 4: The Darkness of Love: When intimacy and love and relationships and sex go wrong – where in my life? where is the light switch.
Night 5: The Darkness of Literacy: What forms of educational darkness do you recognize, and what can you do to help repair?
Night 6: The Darkness of Rage: Have I come close to violence, abuse, hostilities? In my own behaviour or those I know. What can be helpful to diminish these rages in the world?
Night 7: The Darkness of Direction: Who are our leaders and where are we in the dark? Whom can we support?
Night 8:The Darkness of Soul: How have so many of our sacred traditions and religious paths become shrouded with dark rags of rage and righteousness? How can we help restore the spirit?
Occupy Darkness – online links
(thank you Dara Kessler for putting this together. Got more? Please share!)
AJWS Got Gelt
Ikar An Enlightened Chanukah 5769
Meditations for Chanukah 5772 Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL
Rabbi Michael Lerner: Occupy Hanukkah and Christmas
Sustaining the Light a Social Justice Program for Chanukah