Mikeitz/Hanukkah 5773: The Real Gift of Hanukkah - Freedom of Conscience

December 14, 2012

Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon, Temple Emanu-El, Tucson, AZ

Before we begin tonight, I must ask you take a moment of silence in memory of the children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut who were murdered earlier today. At times of shocking atrocities like this, which we have experienced too many times in recent years, there is really no response that will make sense of the tragedy. I ask that you pray for the families of all who were killed and wounded, and that perhaps at some point we may find a way to prevent such horrible acts from taking place ever again.

May the families of these innocents find consolation and comfort in God, and may we find a way to work to prevent such horrors from recurring in our land, and in our world.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Chanukah Same'iach!

If you are anything like me, you have been eating latkes and sufganiyot for 7 nights and days now, and after all the fried food and parties it's time to begin to think about cutting back on the caloric intake... Unfortunately, there are other celebrations this time of year that we participate in, and often they also have food to eat, I'm told. The danger is that what we will take from this holiday season may turn out to be nothing but several extra pounds around the middle of our bodies...

And that would be a shame. Because for Jews and non-Jews, the central message of Hanukkah is powerful and important, and it is especially relevant all year-round, here in America and everywhere in the world.

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