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Using the light of Chanukah to overcome the winter blues

December 1, 2019


Rabbi Linda Potemken

Chanukah embraces the themes of religious freedom, dedication, sufficiency, sustainability, light and possibility. There are many ways to celebrate this festival. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Invite others to light candles with you.
  • Relax while the candles are burning.
  • Experiment with different latke recipes.
  • Investigate places most worthy of tzedakah and make contributions in honor of others.
  • Focus on the theme of religious freedom and learn more or take action around a current struggle.
  • Focus on environmental themes and practices.
  • Explore Chanukah practices around the world.
  • Devote a night to Torah study around your table.
  • Dedicate your home or a room in your home by hanging a mezuzah on a doorpost.

Chanukah begins the evening of December 22nd this year, just after the winter solstice. It is a dark time of year and the beginning of three long, cold months. For some, it is easy to isolate and to sink into despair. Don’t let it happen. Continue to seek the warmth of community and meaningful activity. Let Shabbat be a weekly occurrence, giving you the opportunity to rekindle candles, sing blessings, relax, share Torah, engage and connect.

Come to BI for learning, socializing, social action and meals. Explore healthy ways to comfort and soothe yourself and uplift your spirits. Seek support when needed. We are social creatures and we need one another in all seasons but perhaps most of all when it is cold and dark. Let the gift of community light up your winter!

Ed. Note:  If you or someone you know is struggling with depression please contact Rabbi Linda or Rabbi Nathan. Both rabbis are available for pastoral support and/or to provide referrals to psychotherapists or other healers.

Thu, November 30 2023 17 Kislev 5784