Chanukah Lights by Miriam Shulamit Ribner

menorahlitChanukah Sameach!

Miriam Shulamit (Melinda) Ribner is the founder and director of Kabbalah of The Heart and Beit Miriam www.beitmiriam.org. She is a leading pioneer in the field of Jewish meditation and the author of four books on: Jewish spirituality, meditation, healing and personality transformation. Her words bring into focus the depth of meaning embedded in the mitzvah of lighting Chanukah candles. Her words create a visual picture that allows the inner meaning of the mitzvah to forge a deeper connection to our soul, nation and Creator. Enjoy her words of meditation and prayer as you light up your home and the world with your Chanukah lights.

Chanukkah, our beautiful wondrous festival of lights, begins this Sunday, December 6th at sunset and continues until sunset Monday December 14th. 

According to Torah, a Jewish holiday is not just a celebration of a particular historical event; rather it is a spiritual transmission of cyclical energies that were available when the historical event originally occurred. Chanukkah is all about light shining amidst the darkness. May we each open to the most beautiful loving transmission of Divine Light this Chanukkah. 

THIS YEAR,  SIMPLY LIGHT CHANUKKAH LIGHTS EACH NIGHT,AND MEDITATE TO PLUG INTO THE HIGHEST LIGHT OF GOD. THE WORLD IS IN NEED OF YOUR LIGHT.  YOU ARE IN NEED OF GOD’S LIGHT.  HAPPY CHANUKKAH! LET’S WAKE UP TO THE TRUE REALITY.

This year, we light candles for Chanukkah to remind ourselves, our friends and our enemies, God is greater than any force of evil. Light triumphs ultimately over darkness.  

This year, we light candles for Chanukkah to remind ourselves we are also Maccabeans. We are also not limited by cause and effect. We are not constrained by logic. We are victors rather than victims. With God, all is possible.

This year, we light candles for Chanukkah to return to the magnificence of who we really are and open to gratitude for the miraculous gift of life itself.  May the light of Chanukkah remove psychic debris we have allowed to enter our body mind temple, cleansing us of doubt, fear and sadness.  In our essence, we are the beautiful radiant light and joy filled beings.  May we joyfully return to being who and what God intended us to be. 

This year, we light candles to publicize the miracle of Chanukkah. If possible, place the menorah near windows, so people on the street can see and be inspired to know that God is in the world and miracles are possible, even today. 

THIS CHANUKKAH, LET US STAND WITH OUR LITTLE CANDLES  AND FIND THAT PLACE WITHIN OURSELVES TO DECLARE THAT GOD IS IN THE WORLD. GOD DID MIRACLES IN THE PAST AND WILL DO SO IN THE FUTURE.  MAY THE LIGHT OF CHANUKKAH IGNITE US TO DO ONLY WHAT WE CAN DO IN THIS WORLD. MAY THE LIGHT OF WHO WE REALLY ARE SHINE IN THE WORLD. AMEN.

BACKGROUND ON CHANUKKAH. 

The holiday of Chanukkah celebrates the military victory of  small group of Maccabeans over the vast army of Greece. Chanukkah is spiritually the victory of faith over reason.  Previously a day of cult sacrifice, the  twenty-fifth of Kislev was chosen as the most appropriate day to rededicate the Holy Temple by lighting the menorah, the symbol of the Divine Presence. Any oil could have been used for the menorah, but the Maccabeans wanted a vial of oil that had not been defiled and searched for one. Quite surprisingly, they found a buried vial with pure oil. Looking for a vial of oil that had not been contaminated was an expression of the desire to return to the original purity of their connection with God. And as the legend goes, the oil burned miraculously for eight days, rather than the expected one day. We celebrate this miracle of the light and the return to our true essence. 

In conclusion, these eight days of of Chanukkah are a special time to receive and bask in the light of the Divine, the light of miracles, the light of love, the light of joy.  We know we are coming close to God when our hearts open and we feel gratitude for the privilege of being alive. Chanukkah brings joy and clarity.

Take time to meditate each night when you light candles. During the time, become aware of your gratitude for all the blessings in your life. Gratitude opens the doors of blessing.  

Be mindful particularly to express gratitude and not complain during this time of Chanukkah.

Let this be a spiritual practice during the week of Chanukkah to spend time each day thanking God for all the good in your life, thanking others for all the good they bring to you and others, and even thanking yourself for all the good you do. 

Complaining only brings harshness, pain and challenge in our life. If we complain, it is a sign that we are not happy with God, with ourselves, with others. We are not open to receive blessing in our lives. What a shame to deprive ourselves and not be open to the wonderful light available during Chanukkah. If this reminder helps one person to refrain from complaining even one time, it is worth a lot. Writing these words have helped me already to be more conscious. So thank you. 

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