Hanukkah 2015 begins in the evening of Sunday, December 6th. The “Festival of Lights” evokes many historical and family memories such as the ancient victory in reclaiming the Temple, the “miracle” of the oil, lighting Hanukkah menorahs, savoring potato latkes, jelly filled doughnuts (sufganiyot), & chocolate gelt and spinning dreidels.
Whether you use coins or candy, the rules of Playing Dreidel are simple. If the dreidel lands on Nun you get nothing, Gimmel you take the whole pot, Hay wins you half the pot, and Shin requires you to pay two into the pot. I recently found myself reflecting how much like life this simple game is. Sometimes good choices and hard work do not translate into immediate gratification or reward and seemingly result in “nothing”. But we endeavor to follow a moral compass anyway because it is the right thing to do regardless of the outcome. Other times whether from our own efforts or simply by luck we “take the whole pot” and enjoy a rich bounty of success perhaps in achieving a new goal, good fortune in business or being blessed with family and friends. Sometimes we only get “half” of the things we may work and wish for. We don’t get everything our heart desires so to speak and thank goodness for that! Certainly there are those occasions where we seem to “pay” as we suffer loss, endure challenges and even crushing defeats along life’s journey. Life is a mix of all of the above.
In a season where we think of miracles and gifts, true reward and happiness can’t be bought on “Black Friday” or “Cyber Monday”. To quote lyrics from a Sheryl Crow song “Soak Up The Sun”…”It’s not having what you want / It’s wanting what you’ve got”. How true! The Creator in his infinite wisdom does not allow us to get everything we want. As one gains wisdom through the the passage of time, it becomes clear that the journey and knowledge gained is as important as the destination. Every day is a blessing to be savored and appreciated.
As December closes out the regular calendar year, Hanukkah is the perfect time to take personal stock of our many blessings and to be aware of life’s daily miracles large and small. I extend an invitation for you to join your fellow CSI members at our annual Hanukkah Family Night & Dinner beginning at 5:15 pm on Sunday, December 6th. There will be plenty of good food and warm fellowship, so come join us!