10/11 December 2021, 6/7 Tevet 5782

Zoe writes: In one of our, many, Chanukah quizzes I asked ‘how many candles do you need to celebrate chanukah?’*.

What I didn’t ask was ‘how many people do you need celebrate chanukah’?

And truly, the answer is 1. You – and a candle.

But with more people comes more joy. (And more latkes, more doughnuts, more chaos…!)

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” (Buddha).

We wanted to celebrate Chanukah with as many people as possible. Each night I wanted to spotlight one area of our community, honouring new community spaces like Morning Meditation, holding transition moments for others like Rosh Chodesh, and providing much needed in person parties for our families and the Delving group.

From our smallest crowd of just 10, to our largest of 60, each night was special.

We had some events online and others in person. Did they feel different? Yes.

Was one better than the other? Actually no. The moment 50 Community Makers each showed their chanukiot (we’re supposed to put them in our window for the world to see, is the 2021 update putting it by our Zoom screen?) as we lit together was so special.

Thank you to those who facilitated: Maayan who must have fried 200 latkes for our families, to the 4Bs (Beverley, Barry, Barbara, and Bobbie) who handed out, and washed up, 60 cups of tea and plates of doughnuts, to Dean and Franklyn, Natasha and so many more.

On Havdalah we reflect the candlelight in our fingernails. I saw the chanukah candlelight reflected in 250 FPS-ers.

On telly I’ve seen an entire primary school on electric bicycles, finding that if everyone peddles together they can turn on the school lights with their leg work.

This week, we could have powered all our chanukiot with our joy and light. Our own miracle is 250 people came out, showed up, sang and laughed together. Thank you.

*in case you were wondering, it’s 44.

Shabbat Shalom.