Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rededication


I've been focusing so much on the fun parts of Chanuka--the donuts (I can't stop talking about the donuts), the latkes, the songs and candles--but I don't want to forget the essence of this holiday.

The meaning of the word "Chanuka" is rededication. As a result of the miracle of the candles burning for eight days and the Maccabees defeating the Greek army, the Holy Temple could be rededicated. There were amazing miracles during the time of Chanuka--a small army defeating a powerful one, a tiny store of oil being found in the ravaged Temple, that tiny vial lasting for a full eight days until more oil could be made.

In the spirit of Judaism and its obsession with questions, this makes me ask a question: Why isn't Chanuka called "miracles"? Or "oil"? Or "military triumph"(now that's a catchy title)? Why rededication?

I don't presume to know the answer, but I'll take my own little stab at it. This holiday is called Chanuka, rededication, because that's the part that really matters. The miracles are amazing and inspiring, but it's what you do after the miracle that makes the difference. Do you go back to the same old, an unchanged person? Or do you rededicate yourself and your life? Embrace the higher calling that this new miracle has brought you?

I may not have everything I've ever wanted (who does), but I've witnessed miracles nonetheless. My life, my health, my husband and his love, my family, my wise and funny and wonderful friends, our ability to pay our rent and buy as much food as we need. And even though I wish my story right now was a bit different, I will renew my efforts to find meaning in this challenge, and bless the miracles that are so present in my life.

Rededication. It's a good thing.

14 comments:

  1. Love learning more about Chanuka from you Keshet! And the rededication is definitely important after all that people go through past and present.

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  2. Thanks for the insight. I know the (very, very) basics, but really cool to hear more about it.

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  3. so true!! :) Love learning about Chanuka!

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  4. I love your "stab" at it... well said!

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  5. A beautiful & inspiring post. I love everything you wrote here!
    I think my favorite part was "Judaism and its obsession with questions" because I feel it's *so* true! I'd never thought before how much Judaism loves questions. I just love how in a few words you expressed something so true and deep.

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  6. I have loved learning about Chanuka from you Keshet!

    And your album in the previous post is BEAUTIFUL! Love it!

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  7. It is so refreshing to see people with such strong faith, and the courage to show it! Wonderful post, thank you for sharing!

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  8. What a lovely sentiment. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. A bit of history - the name of the holiday is related to the dedication of the alter in the First Temple after it was conquered by the Maccabeans.

    In modern Hebrew "Chanuka" is used in the context of "house-warming" - "Chanukat Bait".

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  10. This is beautiful! I do not know a lot about Chanuka so this was a wonderful read. I love the word "Rededication" and believe that it holds true with any faith you have. Thank you for the inspiration :)

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  11. Beautiful and inspiring and informative.
    You're right, it's not the miracle or the victory or the achievement, it's what you do with it, isn't it?
    So I hope you'll soon explain the difference between Hannukah and Chanuka... sorry if this is a dumb question!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I love hearing your thoughts:)