A Festival of Lights

At Rescogita we build our vision on the principles of Ecopsychology, which means restoring human to human and human to nature relations. This also means to value culture, traditions and roots, as a common thread to all of humanity, born in the mists of time and with a purpose to celebrate community, life and connectedness to one another; therefore we join our Jewish friend in wishing a good Hanukkah week.

Hanukkah means dedication, and this day is devoted to recall and celebrate the rededication of the Holy Temple. It is an 8 day winter ritual and celebration, also known as the Festival of Lights, and the celebration is a nighttime lighting of the Menorah accompanied by prayers and delicious hearty food. When was this celebration born? From a time before the birth of Jesus Christ, when Seleucids invaders wanted to impose hellenic culture and faith on the people of Israel and replace the Mitzvah. This lead to a rebellion of few desperate Jews who drove the Greeks out of the land and reclaimed the Temple of Jerusalem restoring the worship of God. When the tried to light the Temple’s Menorah they discover a little olive oil there that was still consecrated to their faith and that tiny amount of oil managed to keep the Menorah burning for 8 days, just the necessary time to ritually prepare more olive oil. That is when the wise old men decided to start this Festival of Light, Hanukkah.

The core element of the festival is lighting the Menorah at night, this candle-holder has space for 9 flameses, and one of them is called Shamash, the Attendant, with a purpose or kindling the other 8 lights. Another flame is lit on the second night, another on the third,until the 8th night when all lights are on.

Of course the ritual involves blessings to be recited before the traditional lighting, followed by songs sang together by the community, synagogue, public places  and family engaging in the celebration, since every household has a Menorah, and its place is the doorway or the window.

That is when specific prayers are recited during specific times of the day, and God is praised and thanked for “delivering the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the evil into the hands of the righteous

L. Nava

Published by Lorenzo Nava

Consultant, Trainer and Coach, on participatory learning processes, experiential learning dynamics, non formal education and NLP certified practitioner

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