As winter approaches, we all have a tendency to "hunker down." Perhaps it is some vestigial behavior arising from an ancient and primitive time; as food became scarce, and the hours of daylight diminished, there was a good reason to stay inside, out of harm’s way. Or perhaps it is a more adaptive response to the vicissitudes of Shoreline weather: our beautiful, crisp, golden days of late giving way to cold, wet, wind, and slush.
No coincidence, then that our main winter holiday, Chanukah, is a celebration of light. Not just actual, physical light, but also spiritual light. It takes light to beat back the fear of the dark, and it also takes light to bring people together, whether it is in work of rededicating the Temple, our rejuvenating our synagogue, or in the weekly rhythms of prayer, study, and community. There is an underlying fundamental relationship between light and gathering. Not just moths, but we too are drawn to a flame.
There are many opportunities to gather in the light here at TBT, even in the dark of winter. For those of you who do not have to navigate the "December dilemma," and will be in town on Friday, December 30th, we will have a fun 7th Night of Chanukah here at TBT, at which time we will gather and light our Shabbat and Chanukah candles. But we also have many other ways to gather together and bring light to each other - worshipping together on Shabbat and sharing the light of our Shabbat candles; performing acts of social justice and being ethical lights to our community and world; and learning together, illuminating the texts and narratives of our Jewish tradition.
My wish and hope for you, as we come to the end of our secular year, and prepare for the next, is that you come out and join us for all that we can bring to each other; for whatever our building surrounds and our activities promote, we are, after all, a holy community, bringing each other into our light.