Sunday, December 9, 2007

Saturday's Service: Hanukkah Shabbat

On Saturday, we didn't have a minyan, and the Rabbi was gone visiting his son, but we held service anyway.  We didn't do as much in Hebrew as they normally do, because I would have had a lot of difficulty participating, and with only about 5 people, that would be pretty significant.

Otherwise, we talked about the special haftarah portion for Hanukkah Shabbat.  It's from Zachariah, chapter 4.  It describes one of the prophet's visions, and was chosen to emphasize the spiritual aspects of the holiday over the military side.   There's an angel talking to Zachariah, and he describes the rededication of the altar and the menorah.

We also talked about how we can make Hanukkah significant to us in modern terms.  It's all well and good to light some candles and spin some dreidels, but there has to be something more to make it worthwhile.  Some people talked about Hanukkah and its contrasts with Christmas as a yearly opportunity to celebrate being Jewish and not succumbing to the silliness that surrounds the contemporary celebrations of Christmas.  Others talked about the fact that Hanukkah commemorates the re-dedication of the Temple, and that we can use it as a time to re-dedicate ourselves to a Jewish way of life.

No comments: