Allison Gilbert, LMFT - Marriage & Family Therapist

DONT WAIT TO CREATE A MEANINGFUL LIFE

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Chanukah and the Moon

Posted by allisongilbert on December 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Did you know that the Jewish calendar is based on the moon whereas the Gregorian calendar is based on the sun? That’s why Chanukah can fall at the end of December, like this year, while another year it falls much earlier. You can enrich your celebration this year by understanding why the last night of Chanukah always falls on the new moon even though most of the other Jewish holidays fall on the full moon.

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Beyond the traditional Chanukah story about the miraculously, long-lasting oil, we can see our lighting of the Chanukah candles through the lens of the following 3 facts about how the sun and moon interact.

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From Shifra Hendrie http://instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=16271229

 

1. Even though the moon can be full and bright at times, it doesn’t have its own light but instead reflects a light outside of itself.

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2. At its darkest, the new moon is actually closest to the sun even though it doesn’t reflect any light at all.

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3. In contrast, when the moon is farthest away from the sun, it is full, reflecting all it can get from the sun’s light.

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But why on each night of Chanukah do we light one more candle until on the darkest night of the year (the last night of the holiday) our menorah is completely full and bright?

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In essence, the light we illumine through increasing candle lighting represents our purpose in life which is to increase in bringing the light into the dark corners of our world. In other words, our purpose is to create more goodness, kindness and benevolence when we are faced with the darkness (suffering) we encounter.

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 Illness, war, death and disaster are all part of existing in the world as it is now. The goal is to work toward a completely healed world in every sense of the word. Shifra Hendrie states:

That’s really what this stage in history is largely about...this global shift that everyone is feeling…we are like the adolescent [who is no longer simply a reflector of the “light” his parents gave him but instead tries to find his own way in life]… there is a breakdown of the old on behalf of building the new…that’s why [right now in our world] there appears to be so much darkness… that’s why there is so much searching for new light, so many new discoveries, new possibilities… because the function of a healthy human being isn’t to forever be a receiver…it’s now up to us to be builders, givers, doers and co-creators…

Every dark moment offers us a way to build a world where there is no darkness at all. We go into the darkness to discover that the essence of who we are is more infinite and unlimited than we previously believed. We can light up the darkness. We can shift to an entirely new level consciousness that breaks free from any limitation and builds a world that actualizes its infinite potential, a world that can be a shelter of peace for all.

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So this Chanukah, as you set your menorah aglow, remember that just like the waning moon, you too are still a luminary even when it’s dark.

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For Chanukah celebrations in Santa Cruz & Capitola, go to ChabadByTheSea.com

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1 Comment

Reply Alan
4:21 AM on November 28, 2013 
Thank you , I am always looking for DIvrei Torah that relate to marriage , this is a start