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In Gratitude

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Dear Readers,

Wishing you Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and blessed times in the New Year!

In January, I will have a very exciting announcement to share with you. . . .

And yet, times are bittersweet. Loved ones have passed, and within our memories and mourning, we appreciate life. I was blessed with the sweetest gift to California to visit with family, and we were four generations together. And yet, for many of us, the world seems to be going backwards, forwards, and staying still, all at the same time and with more intensity. It’s always a balancing act, isn’t it?

I received this via email a week ago, and it fit for me this year. It speaks to uniting our inner and outer work as individuals and what we can create together from our sacred inner embers. (A hanukkiah is a menorah, the candleholder for eight nights of Chanukah and a shamus, the candle used to light them all.)

“When we light the Hanukkiah, we call up the miracle. In life, we call on our might. In yesterday’s world, we witnessed God’s outstretched hand. In today’s world, we extend our own. We’ve been trained to strategize, criticize, hyper-intellectualize. We understand how to do, work toward, achieve. And when we’re challenged, we damn well know how to get boots on the ground and fight for what we know to be true and just. We’re good at being Maccabees. But in these dark times, when we see our reality unraveling before us, a part of us yearns for something more to believe in.

This year may we tap into the two sides of Hanukkah: our ability to act and our capacity to believe. May we grasp our power to shape the world, and be in touch with our longing for the Creator of the world. May we continue to pray with our feet, and learn how to pray with our heart. Amidst our communal effort to combat the impending darkness, may we embrace the equally hard work of cultivating a felt-sense-deep in our kishkes-of the sacred fire within each of us, the burning blaze we become when we band together, and the Source of light, life, and love that suffuses all.” —Rabbi Jonathan Bubis

May you be and feel love, loved, healthy, and safe!

In gratitude,
Jan

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