Betsy Frank is UHC para-rabbinic fellow and president.
December is one of those months that reminds us of the power of nature’s hold on our lives.
The temperature gets colder, and the days get shorter. And who knows if we’ll get rain or snow? All these changes can lead to a bit of grumpiness.
Yet December is also a season of light. Hanukkah will soon be upon us.
Although Hanukkah is a minor holiday in our Jewish calendar, the lights of the menorah remind us of the fact that, as Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel says, Judaism is a religion of time.
Other holidays mark the cycles of Jewish life
Each week we have Shabbat, with the Shabbat candles emitting light and peace. Other holidays mark the various cycles of our lives. Judaism is deeply connected to the agricultural festivals of ancient times.
Pesach, Shavout and Sukkot are marked by agricultural events throughout the year.
Ecclesiastes verse 3:1 says, “A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven.”
Other celebrations, such as Rosh Chodesh, are also rooted in the passing of time. And of course, there is the famous Ecclesiastes verse 3:1, A season is set for everything, a time for every experience under heaven.
Let the lights of Hanukkah and Shabbat brighten our spirits during the cold, dark days of December.
And take a ride through Deming Park and enjoy the lights of the competing holiday. The lights have no spiritual significance for us Jews, but we can still enjoy their beauty.