Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

The Eight Days of Hanukkah: Day Eight, The Most Important Story of All

This one is easy. The Most important Hanukkah story of all is yours. For seven days we have shared versions of a 2,200 year old story that have inspired people across the time and around the world. And it was all a kind of warm up exercise to help begin telling the version that matters most i.e. the one that you celebrate.
What does Hannukah mean to you? This is one of those wonderful questions that nobody can get wrong. In fact, the only mistake one can make would be to have no answer at all. After all, Hannukah has been the story of successfully meeting the most profound challenges of the moment, of feeling deeply that which we most need, and discovering that we can attain it. Hannukah has celebrated the good stuff, both spiritual and physical, that we already have and the warmth that we already feel.
And Hanukkah will live on for another 2,200 years if we do what all those who have come before us did, and add our own understandings of the holiday to its celebration. So in honor of the final day of Hanukkah, I am opening up the page for all of you to share what Hanukkah means to each of you. If this list get big enough, who knows, it may become one of the sacred texts of the next century. Why not? That’s how it worked for all of the other texts that we have explored for the past week.
So go ahead, tell your Hanukkah story. You may be making history and helping the next generation to a more meaningful future.

  • Eric

    Rabbi Hirschfield,
    It was great to get to know what Hanukkah is all about. It is about hope and life in midst of a troubled world. I have a lot of respect for Jewish culture and Judaism, even though I call myself a Christian and go to church.
    I hope that one day Jews and Christians will not see each other as enemies, but as family. And I repent for the harm that have been committed against Jews during the crusades by Christians in the Middle Age and the Holocaust and anti-Semitism that happened in Europe, which had a predominantly Christian tradition and past. We Christians need to stop linking the death of Christ on the cross to the guilt of the Jews.
    So, I hope that Hanukkah can bring in reconcilitation and peace between Jews and the rest of the world, including Christians. And let’s pray for peace in Israel and Jerusalem in such times as this. I think that Jesus will be happy about it as well.
    I wish you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2009.

  • Pavvel

    I appreciate your well-intentioned repentance for the sins of Christendom-Past. However, just as not even God can forgive a sin one commits against another person, so one can only repent for what one has actually done, and one can carry guilt (as distinct from guilty feelings) only for what one has actually done.
    You bring yourself into it at least tangentially when you say, “WE Christians need to stop linking the death of Christ on the cross to the guilt of the Jews,” in which your first-person plural implies that, while you believe it is wrong to do so, that you on some level might still hold the Jews responsible for the death of your messiah.
    Well, yes you/they should stop holding the Jews responsible.
    But if you believe the classical Christian doctrine that Jesus’ death was the prerequisite for human salvation, and if you also believe that Jews are responsible for his death, then the only even marginally logical next step is for Christians to thank Jews for the salvation they otherwise could never enjoy.

  • laura faulk

    Pavvel..The Crucifixion of Jesus, the Messiah,… God himself reconciling the world (that’s you, me, everyone and our predecessors and our progeny) to Himself. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son… that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might be saved! Pavvell… no condemnation- seek God’s salvation.

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