Chanukah, the Festival of Light, occurs during the darkest and shortest of our days. The Chanukiah is a metaphor for light so how can we make life and the world around us less of a “dark” place? Could we incorporate behaviors and events to “illuminate” darkness through loving-kindness?
Try to incorporate these kavanot along with the traditional Chanukah blessing into your family’s candle lighting each night. Hopefully they will enhance the meaning of your Chanukah celebration and illuminate the many blessings and opportunities in our lives to bring more light and goodness into the world.
Shamash – For Those in Need May the light of these Chanukah candles remind us that no matter how bad our situation might be, there is always someone who can benefit from our help. May the One who brings us light help us to notice those in need and enable us to reach out and support them.
First Candle – For Healing May the light of these Chanukah candles give us the strength, knowledge and creativity to find cures for illness. May the One who brings us light help us provide healing of body and spirit to the sick and support those who care for the sick.
Second Candle – For the Troops May the light of these Chanukah candles bring reason in times of war. May the One who brings us light help us to understand Israel and stand with Her in difficult times. We pray for the safety of the troops defending the State of Israel and our American soldiers, stateside and abroad, and look forward to the day when all will live in peace together.
Third Candle – For the Children and Youth May the light of these Chanukah candles shine on children and youth in our world. May the One who brings us light inspire them with hope, energy, respect for themselves and others and a passion to make the world better.
Fourth Candle – For the Impoverished May the light of these Chanukah candles bring hope and relief to those who experience poverty. May the One who brings us light lift us up and remind us of our responsibility to provide for one another and ensure that everyone has their basic needs met.
Fifth Candle – For Those Who Step Up and Speak Out. May the light of these Chanukah candles inspire each person to stand up for the rights and freedoms for all people in challenging times and every day. May the One who brings us light give us the courage to stand up and speak out for others who cannot always speak up for themselves.
Sixth Candle – For Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy May the light of these Chanukah candles continue to inspire and motivate others around the world to reach out and provide help and support to those people affected by Hurricane Sandy. May the One who brings us light help bring back hope, spirit and happiness to those who are still suffering.
Seventh Candle – For the State of Israel. May the light of these Chanukah candles remind us and the global community to cherish Israel and hold Her in our consciousness. May the One who brings us light renew in us an everlasting connection with and love for Israel and Her people.
Eighth Candle – For Those who Share the Light of Knowledge. May the light of these Chanukah candles continue to inspire everyone who cherishes learning and teaching others. May the One who brings us light give us opportunities every day to use our learning to enrich our lives and better our world.