Eight Candles: Rededication
In Rededication, a series for Chanukah by Rabbi Yael Levy, we are invited to notice the blessings and lift up the good.
Here is tonight’s teaching:
Eight Candles: Rededication
As we come to the eighth and final night of Chanukah and the fullness of the light, we rededicate ourselves to living and acting in alignment with our highest values. We focus attention on all that we love; we raise up our ideals and visions and set an intention to let these lights shine.
As we do, we acknowledge how our country and the world is being desecrated by actions, laws and executive orders that assault our values, our democracy and the well-being of people and the planet. And in the face of all of this we declare our commitment to act with love for justice, for dignity and peace.
In the lights of the eighth night of Chanukah, we commit to acting even when so much lies in ruin. We commit to acting not knowing if our actions will be successful. We will act for the sake of the rightness of the action itself. We will act for connection. We will act for the sacred. We will act in honor of all that we love and value.
Let the lights of the season guide us. Let the Sacred Mystery hold us. And let the love that flows through all creation bring us comfort, inspiration and strength.
Come let us walk together in the light of the One. —Isaiah 2:5
Practice: Setting the Intention
As we light the candles, we say aloud or to ourselves what we want to rededicate ourselves to in this moment in our own lives and the life of the world.
We then take our seats by the flames, and with the attention resting gently on the breath, we sit with the fire, noticing the light, the shape and textures of the flames. With each in-breath, we draw in the light of the Sacred Mystery and let it fill us to overflowing. With each out-breath we feel the sensations of the light pouring through us into the world.
We set an intention to be comforted, warmed and strengthened by the light and to let it shine through us into the world. At the close of the sit, we give thanks and ask for help and guidance to live well what we love.
Action: Notice the Miracles
In honor of the eighth day of Chanukah, we notice the miracles of creation that fill our everyday world. We pause and give thanks for the food we eat, for the beauty we behold, for moments of connection we share.
Sometime during the day, we ask ourselves the questions:
How can I best be of service?
How can I shine my lights?
What can I do to bring love, goodness, justice into the world?
We place these questions upon our hearts with gentleness and love and open to the guidance arising when it will. We remain aware and careful about not berating ourselves or giving ourselves a hard time about not doing enough. We remind ourselves that we are all here together, and each of us brings blessing into the world by living the fullness of who we are.
Take some time to listen and watch this magnificent rendition of "We Shall Overcome" with Bernice Johnson Reagon and many friends at Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday celebration.
Let it inspire and uplift us all.
— Rabbi Yael Levy