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Bringing Light to the Darkness

Rabbi Micah Streiffer

Brrrrrrrrrrr, it’s getting cold out there!

Part of being Canadian, I’ve learned, is talking about the weather. So let’s talk about the weather.

We’ve reached the time of year when temperatures drop mercilessly, when you have to consider trading in that fall jacket for a real winter coat, and when it’s possible to eat both breakfast and dinner in darkness.

During this cold, dark time of the year, we want to bring light and warmth into the world. We light up our fireplaces and roast our marshmallows, and we celebrate festivals of light. Many religious traditions have some kind of festival of light during this time of year. Even as Jews are lighting up our chanukiyot and putting them in the windows, our Christian and Hindu neighbours have similar traditions. Clearly, it is a basic human instinct to want to light up a dark world.

For many, the darkness of the season is also a reminder that our world can sometimes be a metaphorically dark place as well: poverty and homelessness; war and hatred. Judaism teaches us that we have a responsibility to do Tikkun– to try to repair what is broken.

This year, we have two opportunities as a congregation to bring light to a dark world – one literal and one metaphorical.

On Friday, December 15, the Shabbat during Chanukah, we will gather at 6:30 pm for our annual Night of a Thousand Candles. It is an amazing evening - We’ll join in a Rock and Roll Shabbat/Chanukah service. And we invite everyone to bring their own menorah and candles as we illumine our sanctuary together!

A few days later, on Wednesday, December 20, Kol Ami will once again be hosting Out of the Cold. On this night, we partner with Temple Har Zion to provide a warm meal and shelter for dozens of homeless guests. It is an incredible mitzvah. Please contact the office if you can cook or be involved.

It’s getting cold and dark out there. Let’s work together to create warmth and light. A happy Chanukah to all.



Rabbi Micah Streiffer

Thu, May 19 2022 18 Iyar 5782