Lighted Candles On A Candelabrum

Embracing the Dark as Hanukkah approaches

As the first night of Hanukkah rapidly approaches, I have been thinking a lot this year about the meaning of darkness. We spend so much time chasing the light. I have typically experienced winter as drudgery and look forward to springtime and lengthening days. But this year the darkness has been beckoning to me- and I have been exploring that in relationship to Chanukah.

Here is a brief video podcast interview I did for Exploring Judaism’s Hanukkah Bites series:

A picture of me, smiling at the camera, with the caption: “From the point of darkness we can actually notice and appreciate the light.”

For more takes on Hanukkah from my esteemed colleagues, take a look at the rest of the Hanukkah Bites videos or subscribe to the Exploring Judaism channel on YouTube to get updates on new content throughout the year.

I also led some pre-Hanukkah learning at Kol HaNeshamah this Shabbat related to this theme. I put together some texts to guide our learning, including the source from the Talmud that I reference in the video. You can check out my source sheet on Sefaria.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and meaningful Hanukkah this year.