Shabbat Greetings from Rabbi David Holtz – December 7

Chanukah begins tomorrow night.  We use the havdalah candle, symbolizing the end of Shabbat, to light the shammash on the menorah, as we welcome the Festival of lights.  I will be in Washington, DC with the Confirmation class, where we will celebrate the end of Shabbat and the beginning of Chanukah at the Jefferson Memorial.  Jefferson was the great champion of the separation of church and state, and it is largely thanks to him that religious minorities have flourished in the United States.  On Sunday, we will be attending the lighting of the National Menorah on the ellipse outside the White House.  Both of these ceremonies are a reminder of the religious freedoms we enjoy, freedoms that the Maccabees had to fight a war to achieve.  As you begin your own Chanukah celebrations, I encourage you to add freedom of religion to the list of miracles for which we are grateful.  Chag Sameach!

Author: Melissa