Any of the Chagim (Jewish holidays) are a powerful way to help one to internalize what is so special about being in Israel. If things get tough e.g. with the bureaucracy, I like to visit any of the holy sites or places of nature. Today is just such an example. It’s Rosh Chodesh (the start of the new month) and it’s Chanukah and so I headed off to the Kotel. Even though I went for Shacharit (the morning prayers), I was delighted to find the candles in the Chanukiah still burning.
I would have loved to take a photograph of the Chanukiah from directly in front of it, but since the Chanukiah is on the men’s side of the Mechitza, that was not really possible. With women lining the side of the women’s section, standing up on a chair to photograph over the Mechitza was not possible either. I did the best that I could and I think it’s enough of an indication that it’s Chanukah at the Kotel. Not sure how you would tell that it is Rosh Chodesh Chanukah, unless you know how many days into Chanukah we are for this year and count the burning candles.
Chanukah is a special festival. It’s not directly written down but the story is a powerful one. Throughout our history, there have been nations trying to eliminate the Jewish people. In the original Chanukah story, the wicked Hellenic government tried to stop the Jews from fulfilling G-d’s will by making us forget His Torah. Their plan did not work though and the result was a miracle with one measure of oil for lighting the Menorah lasting for eight days. It’s a time for us to consider what being a Jew is all about. Find out more about the Chanukah story in this post.
As you learn about Chanukah or enjoy the lights of Chanukah, it’s important to consider spreading the real light. Did you know that we, at Chessed Ve’Emet are focused on developing a very special Torah healing centre? Just as there are three parts to our service of Hashem, Torah, Tefillah and acts of loving kindness, the centre we are building ultimately caters to each of these. You can be a part of helping to build our centre. If we can reach our full centre, we will be able to offer jobs to others, especially to widows and orphans. we have ideas for skills training too. But all that is further down the line.
In the meantime, if you enjoy photographs of the beauty of Jerusalem, this is an ideal way for you to help us to build our centre. If you live outside of Jerusalem or outside of Israel, you can have a part of being in Jerusalem by purchasing or ordering a print of a photograph or painting similar to the one above. We also have the option of a fridge magnet or gift set with images of the Kotel and other sites in and around Jerusalem. As you can see in our fridge magnet set, we also add Psukim (verses from Torah) that suit the photograph or the theme of the photograph.
What are you doing to enjoy Chanukah? What do you do to enjoy the beauty of Jerusalem? What do you do to help to build Jerusalem? We’d love to hear, please let us know in your comments below.