Light over darkness. That's what Hanukkah celebrates.
This year, it's also a time of thanksgiving and healing, as we approach some semblance of normalcy. And that is truly a miracle. We have lost so many dear ones--but now, hope illuminates the darkness.
Though I am decades past my childhood, I will never forget lighting the hanukkiah together as a family, each of us helping my father to light the wicks of the different glasses filled with oil--and then passing down that tradition as I lit the hanukkiah with my own children.
On these short December days when darkness descends so early, the radiant light of the hanukkiah is a close second to the light in my granddaughter's eyes. Unlike candles that might burn out in minutes, the oil in my hanukkiah, a classic Indian design, burns brightly for hours and reminds me of all the miracles in my life.
The words of Psalm 30 (Mizmor Shir Hanukkat Habayit L'David) that we recite after the Hanukkah blessings remain startlingly beautiful no matter how many times I have said them, the poignant, heartbreaking and hopeful words resonating to my core as if they were written today:
Adonai Elohai shivati elecha va-tirpa'eni: Adonai, my God, I cried out and you healed me...Hafachta mispedi l'machol li: You turned my mourning into dancing.
Another miracle we are celebrating is that we are planning our next group tour back to India. With excitement and gratitude, we look forward to new adventures, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, and returning home with a ton of new photographs and unforgettable memories. We are always back by Thanksgiving to celebrate and share our experiences in India (Hodu in Hebrew) over a meal filled with thanks (also hodu) and sometimes turkey (yes, hodu, believe it or not).
We are reassured by the high vaccination rates in India, especially in the places we travel, and the precautions that are in place in airports and hotels. Your deposit will not be due until six months before our departure date.
I've taken hundreds of people on virtual tours in the past year (see partial list below), and hope I will continue to do so. But there is nothing like being in India in person.
Join us: November 3-16, 2022.
Click here for Itinerary and registration.
Hag Urim Sameach! Happy Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights,
and tizkoo l'shanim rabot, may we merit many years.