Because of the imminent arrival of Hannukah, the entire Jewish month of Kislev, the current Jewish month corresponding this year almost completely with December, could be regarded as a month of miracles.
The concept of miracle is embedded in the very celebration and meaning of Hannukah. The spectrum of the miraculous stretches from the turmoil of the battlefield and the heroism of the Maccabees to the serene silence of the sanctuary and the piety of priests where a cruse of oil expected to remain lit for only one day continues its illumination for eight days instead.
When considering these two popular explanations of the miraculous, my sense of gratitude is rekindled by the recognition of all of life's core reality of wonder and miracle. Hannukah opens my heart to the warmth and contentment inherent in human celebration and religious ritual.
In considering the many dimensions of the miraculous, Hannukah is an opportunity to direct our heartfelt attention and mindfulness to that which elevates our sense of wonder at this time.
Each of the eight days elicits a sacred time frame for meditating on the miraculous.
Through the tale of Hannukah, its ritual of candle lighting, its foods saturated in oil,its recreational activities designed to enhance the participation of children, and Hannukah presents-an American offshoot of the custom to share Hannukah gelt(coins) used in these play activities- a web of wonder and warmth is spun which enfolds the hearts and minds of all celebrants.
As Hannukah arrives, I look forward to sharing some responses of gratefulness for the richness and beauty of Hannukah's sensuousness and symbolism.