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"… If I am only for myself, what am I?"    (Avot 1:14)

12/27/2019 12:47:16 PM

Dec27

I imagine that when Hillel originally posed this rhetorical question, it was around this time of year. I have no proof of this but certainly the lessons of Chanukah encourage generosity. Not in a gift giving  way but because Chanukah celebrates the miracle of light and sharing that warmth with others.

The very act of lighting the Chanukah candles demonstrates this idea. When the Shammash (helper candle) touches the wick of the unlit candle, the flame is shared between the two. The more wicks the Shammash touches, the more candles glow brightly.

Chanukah is a reminder that it is up to us to spread our inner light and love, warmth and peace throughout the world. Hillel says, is not enough to be only for myself - I must share my resources, my talents, my hopes and my dreams with others. If we can do that, we will fulfill our mandate to be a light unto the nations and pave the way for miraculous outcomes.

At HTAA, we are doing our part to increase the number of souls that light our hallways and to provide spiritual fuel to keep their Jewish flames aglow. There are so many ways to engage with our congregation in prayer, study, discussion, and coming together with old and new friends. Our popular monthly Friday night dinners for the congregation to celebrate together following a family friendly Kabbalat Shabbat service.  We have many special events scheduled throughout the year, including the recent Chanukah Glow Party, our regular Rhythm N’ Ruach classes, and we always look forward our annual Purim Carnival and Passover Seder. Our adult education schedule is full of exciting classes and so much is going on in the youth department.

Our Sisterhood just completed a Chanukah mitzvah project, named after the program’s organizer of many years. The Lil Goldberg z”l Sisterhood Chanukah Bags Project provides small Chanukah gifts to Jewish residents of non-Jewish medical care facilities. 

Much is aglow around HTAA and we are sharing our light with the greater community. We are so grateful that you are a part of our family. One candle can light a thousand lights. May your flame continue to inspire you and those around you.

Shabbat Shalom & Happy Chanukah!
Rabbi Suson 

Wed, April 14 2021 2 Iyyar 5781