Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Chanukah 2008/5769

For me, the very best night of Chanukah (which begins this evening) is the first night of Chanukah: although we light candles every night of this festival, on the first night we say three blessings.
The first blessing, which we recite each night, praises G-d "Who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to light the Chanukah lights."
The second blessing, which we also repeat each of the eight nights, blesses and thanks G-d for all the miracles he has wrought for us through the ages.
But the third blessing, the one which is said only the first night, is one we repeat at all joyous occasions, and is one of my very favorite prayers:
"Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season."
What a beautiful way to sum up all that we've been through, and continue to experience.
Have a warm, wonderful and meaningful Chanukah!
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