Shabbat Shalom: A Meditation for Shabbat & Chanukah

Dec 2, 2021

Some weeks ago, we set our clocks back, and since then, the days have been getting shorter, the nights darker and longer. The pervasiveness of darkness outside can darken our inner condition, weighing down and stifling our lightness. Dark and light have always been symbolic of particular emotions and so too their antitheses: antithetical to the darkness is the light. Antithetical to hopelessness is optimism, is promise.

Chanukkah comes at the darkest time of the year, and for each of the nights, we have added one more candle, increasing light upon light and amplifying it in a time of darkness.

Tonight, we add another candle, then light the Shabbat candles, filling the dark with abundant, fortifying light. Enlarging and expanding, bringing hope upon hope and promise upon promise that, even in this darkness, light will return, our days will lengthen, and spring will come. And the miracles of the past and the miracles of the present will gird us for all the tomorrows to come.

These lights we kindle, hanarot halaluh, upon the miracles, the wonders, the salvations. These lights we kindle, hanerot halaluh, to give thanks and praise. These lights we kindle, hanarot halaluh, may they give us hope and strength to light the darkness.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Jay Strear
President & CEO

Please email Rabbi Strear at with comments or questions.