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Hanukkah, Ancestral Healing, and Exploring Messianic Judaism:

Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a Jewish celebration that lasts for eight nights and days. It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. The central symbol of Hanukkah is the menorah, a candelabrum with nine branches. Each night, a new candle is lit, representing the miracle of the temple's menorah burning for eight days on a single day's worth of oil. It is a time for joy, family gatherings, delicious food, and the acknowledgment of miracles and the triumph of light over darkness! Hanukkah holds a message of resilience, hope, and the enduring power of faith.


Messianic Judaism is a religious movement that combines elements of Judaism with the tenets of Christianity, specifically the belief in Jesus as the Messiah. Adherents, often called Messianic Jews, maintain Jewish practices, customs, and traditions while incorporating Christian beliefs about Jesus' role as the savior. Messianic Judaism seeks to bridge the gap between Judaism and Christianity, emphasizing a dual covenant theology that recognizes both the Old Testament (Tanakh) and the New Testament. It is important to note that Messianic Judaism is not universally accepted within the broader Jewish community, as traditional Judaism does not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.


This is where my story starts to fit in to place. Since as long as I can remember, I have been on a spiritual adventure, exploring different paths of ecoterocism, religions, and belief systems. Being “spiritually fluid” has been a fundamental part of my story despite a Catholic upbringing. A few years ago, I confirmed Jewish roots in my family's line, sparking my curiosity. I set out on a journey of discovery to find answers to questions I had. Questions like, “Why didn’t I know this sooner?” “Why did I ignore the signs? “Why was this hidden even though there were always clues along the way?” “Is this why I’m so neurotic? Oy! Well, it all makes sense now!” This enlightening path led me from darkness; unanswered questions and dismissing stories, to light; embracing truth, new perspectives, and Judaism in my family's story.


Now, I'm returning to celebrate and embrace these beautiful roots I feel blessed to have. I feel pride in embracing and celebrating my lineage, rejecting the need to hide or shun it. I realize this was not a luxury my predecessors before me had, and while the challenge of speaking openly persists in the context of the current global climate, I recognize the privilege of healing ancestral wounds by bringing the truth out from the darkness into the light. No one should feel the need to hide their identity, origins, beliefs, who they love, or anything that makes them who they are.


This year, I joyfully embrace the light of Hanukkah with my beloved partner and our feather ball. This holiday is a profound reminder of hope, miracles, and the power of transformation. All things I have experienced in these last interesting and challenging years, and miracles that have happened within the last few days! I feel so grateful to be with who I love, sharing a home together, creating and nurturing our family, and growing together. I feel humility and gratitude coming back to the light after feeling so much darkness. The Shammash candle, is the helper candle which kindles each flame for eight nights. I see this candle being the role of the “light worker.” The role I have embraced with humility. Lighting the way and healing myself, those who came before me, those around me, and those who will come after me. I see myself as that helper, lighting the way for others, and I view each of you in the same light.


As we ignite each candle, let it be a symbol of unity, resilience, and returning to the light within ourselves. In a world facing challenges, may we become beacons of change. Let the Hanukkah lights guide us to a brighter, more compassionate and loving future. Happy Hannukah! Chag Sameach!





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