In a few days we begin the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Hanukkah celebrates an ancient miracle.With their way of life under attack, a small group of Jews challenged their oppressors. They survived and rededicate the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.
As we light the Hanukkah candles for eight nights, we express gratitude for their victory and survival. We also, however, connect the past to the future.
One of the prayers traditionally said on Hanukkah thanks God for “miracles You performed for our ancestors and those You perform today.” Saying that prayer always makes me ask about the miracles of today.
What is happening around us that is extraordinary, inspiring, miraculous? Can we find God in the world today in the same way people did 2000 years ago?
Yes we can. The miracles we discover need not be vast or magical. They can simply express the power and possibility of the human condition.
Each of my next several articles will consider a miracle we can experience every day.
The Soul of Music
The first is music. Whatever we love jazz, country or rock-n-roll, music conveys power and emotion. It can transform our heart and inspire millions. Sometimes is miraculous.
Rabbi David Wolpe pointed this out in a passage he highlights from Vasily Grossman’s novel of World War II, Life and Fate:
“People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prison, people going to their deaths, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply the blind, heart-breaking miracle of life itself.”
By Evan Moffic,
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