Saturday, August 1, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

LOOKING TO FIND:Jacob Sanchez My beloved son. He can get in touch:Alberto Carvajal 786 350 8436 carvajalalberto@yahoo.com www.facebook.com/alberto.carvajal.585 ALBERTO CARVAJAL MIAMI, FL

VideoLost female longhair chihuahua that had been trimmed. Near 3rd and hwy 97 floresville. Pls call jeri 409 781 3191 Miss her very much.
Lost July 4th male Chihuahua white with brown spots walks slow older dog went missing in Poth last seen walking down FM541 call 8304009851 if you seen him snowball
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

General labor position for local home builder. Must have drivers license. Driving trailers, clean up, carpentry work, etc. Starting at $10 210-279-4123
Class A CDL driver needed for Jourdanton and surrounding areas. Home every night, must pass drug test and have clean MVR for the last 3 years. Call Frank at 210-378-3108.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

South Texas Living


Hanukkah: Five lessons of the holiday to unwrap


Hanukkah: Five lessons of the holiday to unwrap
Hanukkah, or the Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple and relighting of the eternal flame after many years of oppression. It celebrates the miracle of the menorah remaining lit for eight days, with only enough oil to last for a single day.


E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
December 5, 2012
2,973 views
Post a comment

By Ellen Frankel and

Rabbi Baruch HaLevi

Hanukkah begins on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev and lasts for eight days. This year, the holiday is celebrated from Dec. 8-16.

The story of Hanukkah chronicles the four-year war which took place between 167 BCE-163 BCE as oppressed Jews struggled under the rule of Antiochus IV of the Syrian-Greeks. Jews were forbidden to follow their ritual observances and pagan worship was introduced into their sacred Temple. It is also about a civil war between those Jews who aligned themselves with the Greek-Syrian ways and the Maccabees, a small group of Jews who resisted such assimilation. The holiday culminates in the retaking and rededicating of the Temple in Jerusalem and relighting the seven-branched candelabrum, that was supposed to always remain lit.

The long-ago story of Hanukkah offers lessons for people of all faiths wrestling with challenges today. Here are five ideas that Hanukkah, also referred to as The Festival of Lights, can teach us.

From darkness to light

We have all experienced dark periods in our lives. Sometimes that darkness stems from an individual struggle, like the loss of a job, a loved one, or a sense of purpose in one’s life. At other times, it is a collective darkness, like the kind we all experienced Sept. 11, 2001, and in its aftermath. When darkness spreads, it can lead to despair and hopelessness and it is important to recognize that place before we can transcend it. Sometimes the situation calls for outward action, while other times what is needed is inward reflection.

When the Maccabees revolted against the darkness they faced as a result of the increasingly harsh treatment imposed upon them and their freedoms, they chose outward action. When it came time to rededicate both themselves and their Temple, they called upon inward meditation to take the first step of faith in using the tiny amount of available oil to reignite the sacred light of the Temple and to rekindle their souls.

As the story of the miracle of Hanukkah goes, they only had enough sacred oil to last for one day, but the oil burned for eight days, long enough for the time needed to make more oil.

During Hanukkah, the shamash, or helper candle, is used to light an additional candle each night, culminating in eight burning flames and reminding us that by simply lighting one candle, we have the opportunity to light many candles. In that lighting, we see that our own light is never diminished when we share our light with others. As the days grow shorter and the air chills, the celebration of Hanukkah shines light into the darkness and teaches us to rededicate ourselves to kindling the flame of hope.

Opposing oppression

The Festival of Lights is also a story about seeking freedom in times of tyranny. Though small in number against a powerful group, the Maccabees fought to regain their rights and in the end triumphed, as they reclaimed their Temple. These were ordinary people with extraordinary courage and commitment to fight for their freedoms.

Today, we see people both at home and abroad who are oppressed and marginalized. We are reminded that it is incumbent upon us, ordinary men and women, to fight for justice where we see injustice, and for liberty where we see oppression.

It is important that we fight on behalf of our own freedoms as well as those of our fellow human beings. As Rabbi Hillel so famously said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

Finding balance

The concept of assimilation figures large in the story of Hanukkah. How does a community or a group maintain its identity in relation to the culture at large? How much will it resist outside influences and how much will it embrace those influences?

When the Maccabees revolted against the Syrian-Greeks, they were also revolting against a Hellenistic culture and philosophy. Yet as a result of living within the culture at large, Judaism moved from being philosophically illiterate to becoming a systematic and coherent faith. From the Greeks, and later the Romans, they learned the principles of legal interpretation, which became the method of interpreting Jewish law in the Talmud. Many of the words central to the Jewish faith are Greek words, such as synagogue, Diaspora, Sanhedrin (the Rabbinical high court), and even the word Judaism itself.

Just as it is important to find the balance of retaining one’s culture and tradition while also being open to the gifts of the larger community, so too must we find this balance in our personal relationships. How do we connect with others, without losing ourselves?

Hanukkah offers an opportunity to find the balance in retaining our identity while still being connected and involved with people and communities outside of ourselves.

The first step

Every day, we are faced with daunting tasks. Solving the deficit, fighting discrimination, ending wars, and seeking a more peaceful world. It can feel overwhelming just thinking about it, let alone figuring out where to even begin.

As the story of Hanukkah goes, when the Maccabees returned to their Temple after the war, the first thing they needed to do was to relight the eternal flame. But the needed oil was eight days away. It would be easy to despair, after years of fighting and now realizing they were lacking the resources needed to move forward. But, as the story is told, the Maccabees decided it had been too long since the eternal light had been ignited and so they took a first step. Despite having only enough oil for one day, they committed themselves to starting the process of rededicating themselves and the Temple by starting where they were, and taking it one day at a time.

Whether factually true or not, we celebrate the fact that the oil miraculously burned for the needed eight days until more oil could be made. But the miracle only happened after people took the first step. In this story, we are reminded of the words of the Talmud: “It is not upon you to finish the work, but you are not free to ignore it.” We each have a role to play in creating a better world by taking that first step, and then the next and the next.

See miracles

The idea of miracles surrounds the holiday season. Jews celebrate the oil that was meant to last for only one day burning brightly for eight days. When the menorah is lit, an opportunity is provided to tap into that miracle of light shattering the darkness and opening to a world of possibilities.

This time of year is about the movement from darkness to light in both the spiritual and material world, and is strengthened by one’s own faith while creating space and celebration for the faiths of others.

Whether it’s a Hanukkah menorah that we kindle, or a Christmas tree that we light, or the candles we burn on a kinara in celebration of Kwanzaa, we reignite the flame of awe for the miracles before us every day, when we open our eyes and our hearts. We celebrate the miracle of friends and family whom we love and are loved by; the miracle of having the chance to learn something new every day; the miracle of our collective curiosity, creativity, and compassion that moves us forward in both our individual and our collective stories.

Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Too often, the holidays have become commercialized and the season can feel pressured with shopping and rushing and planning. Taking a step back can offer the opportunity to connect with the wisdom of tradition and to rekindle the spirit of today and the hope of tomorrow.
Ellen Frankel and Rabbi Baruch HaLevi are the co-authors of Revolution of Jewish Spirit: How to Revive Ruakh in Your Spiritual Life, Transform Your Synagogue & Inspire Your Jewish Community (Jewish Lights 2012). For more, visit www.revolutionofjewishspirit.com.
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

South Texas Living Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Benefit for animal shelter is Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cestohowa Altar Society ladies celebrate 60 years of service (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Church youth to hold car wash (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Don’t miss Kosciusko Picnic this Sunday (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free movie Friday in Poth (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Historical marker denotes former school site (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Legion Auxiliary garage sale Aug. 1 (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Life in the Camp Ranch community (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Luciano Pacheco – the sole Tejano survivor of the Alamo (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Opry helps fund historical markers (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Popeye beach pail (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. See a free flick in Elmendorf (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stuff the bus in Stockdale (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Summer program ends at Falls City library (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. WCRSP delivers children’s books to schools (July 29, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Balance classes start July 27 (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Be a high roller in Floresville (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Bobble-head Bozo (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Cool down with free snow cones (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Copper-pot craftsmanship — CINCO Vodka (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Marion Sausage Supper is Aug. 1 (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mu Chi members attend state convention (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Opry lineup is sure to satisfy (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Save the date for Kody Fest Aug. 8 (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Shop ‘Trinkets and Treasures’ (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. SSCA seeks donations for rummage sale (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Start two-stepping at FUMC (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Texas sales-tax holiday (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The Landing offers help for teens (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. What a difference an ‘A’ makes! (July 22, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Browse, learn, shop at Home and Garden Show (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Celebrate Czech Day in Jourdanton (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Daughters of the Republic installs officers (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy St. Anthony church fest (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Experience ‘The Hobbit’ under the stars (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free Movies at the Park in Poth (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Learn to compost with worms (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Legion Auxiliary plans garage sale (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Library happenings (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Mystery blanket sparks search (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Night In Old Fredericksburg is July 18 (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Plan now for Beaver Roundup (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Teddy bears, pottery (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The bridges of Wilson County (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Atomic tourists’ converge on Trinity Site ahead of 70th anniversary (July 15, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Behind the lens: Cover photo (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Bobby Flores Birthday Bash is July 11 (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Early settlers of Wilson County (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy ‘Big Hero 6’ at Movie Day (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy ‘Cool Tunes’ in Brenham (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Family violence shelter seeks volunteers (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Family weekend fun in Adkins (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. FHS Reunion is July 25 (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Fishing lures (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Give blood at Sacred Heart Church (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Hamilton earns rank of captain (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Memorial hog hunt a hit! (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Save the date for Home and Garden Show (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. See comedians in China Grove (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Alabama’ to invade K-Town (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. ‘Dying’ brings broadcaster back to life (July 8, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Bible study in Verdi (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Buses, pickup trucks, automobiles, and walking (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Davy Crockett, Depression glass (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Dog shows start July 8 (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy Fourth of July parade, concert in Seguin (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Enjoy Sunday Dances all month (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free July 4 concerts in SA (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free music, fireworks in Brenham (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Ice cream makers, tasters needed (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Jack's Cafe adds Sports Room and patio (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. July is for grape stomping (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Look who's flying solo! (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Memories fly following balloon stories (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Register for state-wide Chili Cook-off (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Remembering my first haircut (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Savor: Summer drinks with calories and exercise equivalents (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. South Texas Gardener reveals 'mystery plants' (July 1, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The Gathering Music Show (July 1, 2015)