I’m always looking for places to meet, hang out and talk with people of other faith traditions. Figurative places and literal places. One of my dearest friends, when we both lived in New York, invited me to her Shabbat table on Fridays as a literal place to meet, hang out, and talk about faith and life. Now she lives in Michigan and I live in Minnesota, and we still find figurative places to meet. Right now, we are meeting around the idea of light. She recently transitioned from a work trip in sunny Ethiopia to the dark winter of Michigan and resonated with my Advent posts about light. She is in the season of Hanukkah, and said this:
This year the idea of Hanukkah – literally meaning rededication – is much more striking – a rededication to each other, to faith, to life, to hope. Lighting a candle in these dark days is so important. By Jewish law, the Hanukkah candle is not to be used for anything else – you are not to use it to read something by or sew by, etc., unlike the Sabbath candles. The idea is to just let the light be and shine forth. It’s to gather people close for reflection and prayer. It’s the ultimate symbol and that’s all it’s supposed to be. We set the menorah in the window to demonstrate that we are here, not afraid, and that in this house there is light for all who wish to see…
I love the idea of the Hanukkah candle being light for just light’s sake, with no other purpose than to shine forth. And I love that Jews and Christians can come together in their respective liturgical seasons and talk about the goodness of light and rededication to hope, to faith, to life and to each other.
May your season be filled with the goodness of pure light and may that light bring your heart a sense of peace and hope.