I can admire your trees and your lights in this dark season and your Santa with his merry laugh. But it all gets too serious when I see that manger with its empty cradle waiting for the birth of a baby whose horrible death will be blamed on me.
On Shabbat Hanukkah (this year, Nov. 29-30), we read an extraordinary passage from the Prophet Zechariah. Speaking during the Babylonian Captivity, he envisions the future Great Menorah, taking its sacred place in a rebuilt Holy Temple.
At first glance, this Talmudic debate smacks of petty irrelevance. Is this what a religious life really demands? Why should which side I place the hannukiah, and how close it may or may not be to the door, matter at all?
The world is rife with worthy causes we have taken up with enthusiasm and then abandoned. Rededicate yourself to repairing God's anguished world. If we manage that, the oil will burn for countless nights to come.