O Chanukah, O Chanukah


Light the Menorah….

Today is the first night of Chanukah. It is also the fourth Sunday of Advent and the eighteenth year since my Mother died. I always say that she died intentionally on this day – 25th of Kislev. On the Julian calendar she died on December 8th, which was the 25th of Kislev. Her yartzeit will always be on the first night of Chanukah. I know she did this on purpose; there is no excuse to forget her candle. I’ve seen others with anniversaries on other important days have mixed feelings on the sharing of a sad day with a happy one, and I do feel the sadness from eighteen years ago, but I also think fondly and lovingly on this day, remembering my mother and her ways. I see her in myself especially as I get older. I said something to my daughter tonight, and I had to pause because I sounded exactly like my mother. I think when I was younger this would have bothered me, but today, it made me feel not only closer to her, but closer to my daughter. We used my childhood menorah tonight, which will feel like putting my hand in a fiery piece of the sun by the end of the holiday; it radiates heat when all nine candles are blazing brightly.

My husband managed to find some gelt. It’s nearly impossible in this area, and I did order a small batch online, but it won’t be here until later in the week. I really like to give the kids their dreidls and gelt on the first night, and we were able to. I even found colored (blue and clear) plastic dreidls (at Target) that I could fill with the chocolate coins and one Maccabee chocolate soldier each. I’d never seen those before (from Bed, Bath, and Beyond).

I also made the best latkes I think I’ve ever made in my life. They truly were perfect and that never happens. I eat them with applesauce and sour cream, both. Why should I choose between them?! I also fried up some chicken cutlets, which were also excellent. The whole house smells of oil: olive for the chicken; vegetable for the latkes.

Here’s to the light of the season, no matter where it’s coming from or what holiday you’re celebrating this month.


Believe in the Light


“Jesus said to them, ‘The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light.'”

– John 12: 35– 36

This is the reflection for today’s saint in The Big Book of Women Saints by Sarah Gallick. It is reflected along with the short bio of Saint Eulalia of Merida (292 AD-302 AD).

It struck me profound as it comes right in the middle of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. Chanukah commemorates the rededication of the (Second) Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BCE. There was only enough oil for the eternal light to burn for one day, and to replenish the holy oil would take an eight day round trip. The oil remained burning until the men returned with a new supply.

For those who know my relationship to fandom, this Scripture Reflection also came one day after the mid season finale of Supernatural. Surrounding Season 11 is the storyline of the Darkness returning to the
Earth. The Darkness is a beautiful woman who rivals Lucifer in power. The television show has her as an equal to G-d. As she is Darkness, the only way to vanquish her is with light.

Obviously this is a fictional story in the sci-fi/fantasy genre, but I did find the coincidence of the timing of seeing the show and reading the reflection scheduled for today as enough to comment on.