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Gathering Sparks, Growing Light: This is Our Heritage

A Pandemic Hanukkah-who would have thought? 

Oy vey. Here we are. We have made it through Purim, Passover, the High Holidays, and now Hanukkah?

I am sensing we will have an opportunity to fill out the Jewish holiday cycle within this pandemic. This means we are not traveling or celebrating with family and friends in person. We will not be gathering in the synagogue for a massive Hanukkiah lighting. Not this year. God willing next year.

This year we are isolated for the best possible reason: to keep each other healthy and alive and to crush this plague. We will make it through this. Not by might. Not by power. But fueled by the Eternal Spirit of the Universe, our love for each other and humanity. That is what will pull us through. This is how we have survived and how we will continue to survive--and THRIVE. 

In our tradition, each individual soul is considered to be a precious and unique light. Our light shines from within us through our acts of love and kindness, through the ways we bring Godliness and holiness into the world through the living of our lives. For some this pandemic, this season of isolation and disruption of our lives, has taken a toll on our light. Depression, suffering, illness, loneliness, anxiety can make us feel as though our souls, our internal light, is waning or struggling to keep bright. Hanukkah comes at the darkest time of the year to remind us that our work as Jews in this world is to increase the light, to help keep the light glowing within each soul, each household, each community. 

Ma’alim B’kodesh. Ancient rabbis argued about how to light the menorah. Shall we start with eight bright lights and each night light one less? Or to do start with a single light and increase the light each night? You probably know the answer. Ma’alim B’kodesh. We increase the light. And this is not just a technical answer to how to light the Hanukiah but a spiritual directive. No matter what you are doing, who you are, or where you are living, even in the midst of a pandemic, we must increase the light.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook taught: In everything you do you encounter sparks full of life and light, aspiring to rise toward the heights. You help them and they help you. 

We help each other gather sparks and grow our light. Therefore, please join us for Eight days of Hanukkah!

Eight days of light!

Eight days of song.

Eight days of nosh!

I am so excited to invite you to join Kol Ami for something special every night of this holiday. (please find links to pre-register for these events in Hakol)

Check out this amazing line up of events and programs.


First night: Thursday, December 10 

We have not one, not two but three Hanukkah events for the very first night.

5:30 pm Zoom Candle-Lighting and Sing-Along with Rabbi Kinberg 

6:00 pm  MacGyver Your Hanukkah! Join Meagan Prince for a Come-As-You-Are scavenger/creation/sharing event to utilize your DIY knowledge and the resources in your own home to build a dreidel, a menorah, and the next fusion sufganiyot/jelly donuts! All ages. 

7:00 pm Open Yeshiva: Mystical Teachings on Hanukkah (the magic of the menorah lights)


Second Night: Friday, December 11

5:30 pm Zoom Candle-Lighting and Sing-Along with Rabbi Kinberg 

7:30 pm  Shabbat Hanukkah/Camp Shabbat (expect fun Hanukkah songs and prayers for increasing light in our world)


Third Night: Saturday, December 12

4:30 pm  Zoom Candle-Lighting and Sing-Along with Rabbi Kinberg

Havdalah & Stories to follow. Share a story of your family's Hanukkah Menorah.


Fourth Night: Sunday, December 13

Chava Mirel in concert-let her healing voice soothe your pandemic weathered soul. This a NOT TO MISS event. 

4:30 pm Bring your family and friends to an all-ages Hanukkah concert and sing-along with Chava Mirel. We'll say the blessings and light our Hanukkiah's together. Recommended donation of $18/family. Pay what you can, or make an additional donation to support this event.


Fifth Night: Monday, December 14

 5:30 pm  Zoom Candle-Lighting and Sing-Along with Rabbi Kinberg 


Sixth Night: Tuesday, December 15

5:30 pm  Zoom Candle-Lighting and Sing-Along with Rabbi Kinberg


Seventh and Final Night of Hanukkah 2020/5781

5:30 pm Zoom Candle-Lighting and Sing-Along with Rabbi Kinberg

Don’t forget to go into HaKol, our weekly newsletter, to pre-register for these events and to get ahold of the zoom links. Email me if you have any issues:

I do not want anyone to miss out! Or to be alone this Hanukkah.

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