Chanukah’s 1st night

ב׳׳ה

Our synagogue was selected by the JCC to light the community menorah on the first night of Hanukkah. I left work early to get us there by 5 PM, and we stood in 25°F weather as the program started. My little guy was huddled next to me amongst the crowd, trying to stay warm and singing from the song sheet I held. My teenager, being a teenager, was standing a little behind the crowd, listening, but in his own space.

After a quick story and a few songs, it was time to light the first night candle and sing the blessings, and much to my surprise, who climbed the ladder to light the candle?

My 13-year-old son.

I wonder sometimes if my sons could possibly fathom how much I love them and how proud I am of the young Jewish men they’re becoming . . .

Chag Sameach!!!! jen

Casting Shadows: a Shabbat Shuva reflection

ב׳׳ה


Sometimes bodies made of water become so dense and dark that they cast shadows in the light that could have passed through them. 


The goal of a spiritual life (while living in these bodies that are 3/4 water) is to not cast shadows.  Instead, we must work every day to let the Light and Love pass through us to all those we encounter.  

Shavua tov, jen

Or Hatzadik 

ב׳׳ה


 
Or Hatzadik means “The Light of the Righteous” and . . . it feels like an appropriate day to share a song that I’ve appreciated for a number of years — Or Hatzadik by Yosef Karduner.   

Praying righteous people of every race, nation, and religion shine Light that will help us all find our way to lasting peace and prosperity that can be shared by all people, jen 
 

in my heart cave

ב׳׳ה

 

“St. Francis in Meditation” — Workshop of Francisco de Zurbaran (Spanish, 1598-1664), on display at Indianapolis Museum of Art



 


IN MY HEART CAVE

(a reflection on Psalm 23)

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I have moments when I am afraid, when The Valley feels deep and Death’s Shadow looks long.

But always, in my heart cave, is You.

So I train myself to take refuge in my heart cave, where Your Light always shines, for there:
— I am never alone
— I am Loved (even when I fail)
— I am at peace
— I have faith
— I feel joy

And then, back in this material world, I need not be afraid. 

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This week, whatever life brings, may we fear no evil, and may we be blessed with goodness and mercy.  
shavua tov to all, jen