The year is coming to a close, the streets are quieter and there is a relaxed atmosphere in the air. Parents (or grandparents) with young children will be challenged with keeping them busy, I hope you can turn the challenge into enjoying the precious extra time with them in good spirits.
The festival of Chanukah begins this Saturday evening at nightfall and we open the festival with the lighting of the first candle of the Chanukah Menorah after 8:51 pm. Stare at the light/s every night for a few moments and think of how you will bring more light and positivity into your life and to those around you. Light represents those acts which light up our daily schedule and bring clarity and direction even if they take a few moments of our time.
On the first night of Chanukah (or the first time you light the Menorah) we make three blessings:
1) Baruch ata A-d-o-n-a-i E-lo-h-e-i-n-u melech ha’olam asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner Chanukah.
2) Baruch ata A-d-o-n-a-i E-lo-h-e-i-n-u melech ha’olam Sheasa nisim la’avoteinu bayamim hahem bazman haze.
3) Baruch ata A-d-o-n-a-i E-lo-h-e-i-n-u melech ha’olam Shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigiyanu lazman haze
1) Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
2) Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
3) Blessed are You, Lord our G‑d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.
Every other night you omit the third blessing of Shehechayanu.
We will be celebrating Chanukah in full style on Wednesday the 28th at the Synagogue (4-6pm) with an exciting event for all, Doughnuts, Latkes, Canukah lighting and live music! See you there!
Shabbat Shalom and enjoy the holidays!
Rabbi Chaim and Dina