We are right in the middle of Chanukah, entering Shabbat Chanukah in a few hours, so here is a special, Chanukah-themed Good News Friday post.
Actually, before I start, I should mention that it has been raining. Not gentle, English-style gentle rain, but a tropical rainstorm of proportions that I don’t think I’ve seen in decades. Last night I was in Modiin for my niece’s Batmitzvah (Mazal tov RRW and family!) and on the drive home my car was almost washed away as I lost contact with the road and started drifting in the water. Passing cars sent waves of water over my car’s roof (and I don’t have a particularly small car). I know we need the rain, and our reservoirs and the Kinneret need refilling, but honestly Hashem – do we really need the entire decade’s rainfall in one day?! (Only slightly exaggerating) 🙂
Here is what happened yesterday: 50 preschoolers had to be rescued by boat from their kindergarten in Rechovot.
Today the Ayalon motorway has been closed because of flooding, as well as several other major roads:
And today in Petach Tikva a major intersection was blocked when the traffic lights failed due to the flooding – and our new mayor Rami Greenberg was the guy in the middle directing traffic! (via Reality):
The Kinneret rose by 1 cm which doesn’t sound a lot but when you consider the size of the lake, that is a huge amount of water. Let it keep coming – just drive safely!
And now back to the subject at hand: Channukah!
The a capella ban Six13 have produced a brilliant cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody – but this version is a special edition for Chanukah: a Bohemian Chanukah:
I love the way they sing the musical accompaniments, complete with suitable hand movements. They are such great talents, really worth following.
Next we have those ingenious talents at the Technion who never let a good festival go to waste. They have come up with yet another Rube-Goldberg type Chanukiah-lighting machine – lighting the Menorah the hard way 😀
On a more serious, but beautifully heart-warming note, the “social singing” group Koolulam organized a singing session for families of children with special needs. Here is the English translation of their announcement on the video:
In October 2018 an event for the opening of the year was held by Mercazei Tzamid (special needs) in the Administration for Culture, Society and Sport in the Jerusalem Municipality together with the Kesher organization – the home for special families. Hundreds of families with special needs children and adults gathered together to open their hearts and to sign together with Koolulam and to spread a great light.
Watch this beautiful video:
This fits in so beautifully with Sivan Rahav Meir’s Facebook post about the meaning of lighting even one candle:
Come on, who cares if we lit a Hanukkiyah? What does one little act from us even mean? The world is so big and there are so many people in it, so what difference does it make if we did or did not do something? Rabbi Yerachmiel Israel Itzhak Danziger wrote around a hundred years ago in his book “Yismach Israel” (Israel will Rejoice) about the immense importance of our small acts. How every good deed we do is critical and essential. He bases his words on the Ramban’s commentary, and states:
“During the lighting of a Hanukkah candle, every Jew stands in place of the Kohen Gadol in the Holy Temple, and every one, even the simplest person, when they go to light a Hanukkah candle, they become the equivalent of a Kohen Gadol, and their home becomes like a Holy Temple, and they should be minded, when they go to light the fire, of the fact that they do not light just oil or wax candles, but they light the light from the Six Days of Genesis, and they should approach this kind of worship in fear and awe, out of joy of performing a Mitzvah, that a simple person like them merits to cause now great ‘revolutions’ in the upper worlds”.
We should take those inspiring words with us into Shabbat, which is not only Chanukah but also Rosh Chodesh Tevet.
Wishing you all Shabbat Shalom, Chodesh tov and Chanukah Same’ach!