Our Hanukkah Prayer
The gentle flicker of the menorah echoes in the flame of our souls
Rising to find their place
- Our place - as children of the Most High
Each new night we are born
Breathed into being by the G-d of promise
Who speaks through the courageous hero’s call in the written lessons of our faith
Spoken poems of promise
Sung rhymes of reason
All composing our prayers with childlike awe
Believing tonight and embracing tomorrow
That in each step and every breath the Promised Guide of Heaven dispels the darkness
Opening wide our minds
Filling eager eyes
Warming burning hearts
As we rededicate our temple of faith
Together with those who believed before we the Jewish people once more enter hallowed gates
Where generation-to-generation we rekindle the Hanukkah flame
Pausing this Festival of Lights
These eight nights of miracle
Searching not only for what has already come but for the steps we have still to journey
Traversing as did our ancestors in truth ever-onward
The oil of purpose burns in the glow of miracles
Assuring us the menorah shall always shine
Praise be to the Heavenly One
Who spins the world into joyous adventure like a child’s new dreidel
As our ancient prayers continue to light the night with our soul’s brightly-burning song
Rabbi Tad Berga
Reflection on Light
Holy One, You are the candle burning brightly in our hearts.
Guiding, sustaining, and renewing us.
In this sacred season of light as we kindle our menorahs, may Your warmth shine upon the sacred path you daily set us upon including even our darkest spaces.
Blessing all who are sad or broken, afraid or unsure, with the gentle touch of Your healing hand.
O G-d, we gather these eight nights to honor and celebrate the countless blessings showered upon us.
For the gifts of laughter and joy we unwrap with both our family and friends, wondrous and unexpected surprises, and the hope of seeing Your face in the welcome stranger.
And we pause to remember those we love and yes miss who have danced into this same heavenly light.
Remind us HaShem that You are ever near, even when finding You might seem difficult or uncertain.
Sustain us in our sadness as you uplift us in the miraculous gift of shalom.
Hear the joyful prayers we speak aloud as well as our unspoken thoughts kept quietly within our hearts.
For You are that candle in the night who gently guides us toward the healing dawn.
Blessed One, encourage and uplift us as you open our eyes to see and cherish Your light shining in the souls of our sisters and brothers.
All who share this sacred Hanukkah season of peace and love.
Together may we reflect and celebrate with renewed hope the sacred promise found in Your healing heart.
And may this be made so.
Rabbi Tad Berga
(Rabbi Tad Berga is a published writer and poet who holds an MA from the University of Oxford, England, the MTS from Duke, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbinical Seminary. He is a board certified chaplain and bereavement counselor who currently serves Seasons Hospice in Pinellas, Florida.)