The Secret to Chanukah

Time For A Change

Chanukah, 1943, Westerbork, Holland. By a Jewish inmate, Rudolf Werner Breslauer, probably in early 1943. These people were later deported to death camps in Poland. From the Yad Vashem Photo Archive

One Chanukah when my kids were little I asked if they still used any of the gifts they received the year before. They said no. I told them tonight I’m going to give them a gift that will last forever: the Secret to Chanukah.

The secret to Chanukah is that we count eight days while the month changes – the only extended holiday that does so. As the month changes, so we can change one thing about ourselves that we’ve been trying to change. One repair that will make this holiday a true gift to ourselves and the people around us. It could be as small as the serving size of late night ice cream, or as profound as the holy pause button when anger flashes, but we change.

The secret to Chanukah is that we make this change secretly. We don’t say a word. We just make the change. When it is accomplished, others will notice without being told.

The secret to Chanukah is to confide in G-d, because G-d wants that change and will help us achieve it. Ask G-d for help and you will be strengthened to make it happen.

Two nights left. Pick the change. Look into the candles when you kindle them. See yourself in them, changed. Pray for help, and change.

Tikkun. I pray for your success.

Originally published at The Jewish Journal

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