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

Praying

Knowing

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.

Amen.

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.)


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CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL OF THE PALISADES