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Hanukkah Teaching: Parshat Vayeishev, 12/11/20

12/16/2020 10:32:04 AM


Rabbi Charlie

Watch Rabbi Charlie's teaching HERE. The text is below...


It doesn’t take much to celebrate Hanukkah. A chanukiah – a menorah for Hanukkah, some candles, something cooked in oil – that’s it. We can always do more – decorations and gifts and gourmet latkes and gourmet donuts – yes, donuts. An Israeli baker created a donut to celebrate the new relationship with the UAE called the “Abu Dhabi” donut. He’s selling sufganiyot filled with dates, nougat and cream, and then it’s topped with gold leaf.

Hanukkah can be elaborate, but we don’t need all that. Hanukkah is humble. It’s not in the Tanakh - our Bible.  There’s no tractate in the Talmud. Prior to the Americanization of Christmas, Hanukkah wasn’t all that important in Jewish life.

And yet the humblest of situations can lead to the most inspiring moments. At the end of the Torah portion this week, Joseph is left rotting in prison for years. Next week, he’ll become second only to Pharaoh in all the land. Small things, humble things can have a huge impact.

A donation of food can sustain a family.

A common weed may help treat breast cancer.

A simple phone call can transform someone’s day.

And a few lights can bring joy and inspiration and connection.

Whether your celebrations this week are humble or elaborate, I’m wishing you and your families a Chag Hanukkat Sameach, a happy Hanukkah filled with light and love.

Stay as safe as you can!

Happy Hanukkah and Shabbat Shalom!


Thu, January 21 2021 8 Sh'vat 5781