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#8 – Candle of Concern

Chanukah nears its end as we light this final candle. Although Jewish families around the world have increased the light each evening, we face a world still contains significant darkness. Though our homes shine with brightness:

  • Skies over Southern Israel are streaked with dark exhaust trails of the hundreds of Hamas missiles sent to stir up fear in the hearts of Israelis young and old
  • The streets of Gaza are littered with the debris from an operation that need not have happened had Hamas walked paths of peace instead of cynical terrorism
  • Huts in Darfur, Sudan and in refugee camps in Chad exist in the shadow of our century’s first genocide
  • Gay and lesbian couples in California live with deep sadness that their love (and marriages) are still not recognized
  • Years of greed that consumed our country still casts a long shadow over our nation’s economy, and over the lives of so many who are suffering its effects
  • Homeless still live on our streets, food pantry lines are growing longer, kids are still being pulled Menorahfrom their homes to escape abuse and neglect…

May the light of the Chanukah candles inflame our passions so we deepen our efforts to shine our light into the long nights ahead.

Israel: Time for Concern
Responding to the Operation in Gaza

After a phone conversation with my 19 year old niece Yonina, who sits on a base in Israel awaiting word that her unit is moving forward into the trouble conflict, I invite you to pray with me: for the peace of Israel, for safety for Israeli soldiers, for those harmed in Israel and in Gaza, and for a speedy end to this conflict.

Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, shared this Response to the Gaza Violence:

For the past three weeks, Israel has lived under an increasing barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. More than 80 missiles landed on a single day. Israel’s first responsibility, like that of any nation, is to protect her citizens. The military action that Israel launched Saturday morning was clearly intended to do just that.

Israel’s action is as tragic as it is necessary and predictable. While we mourn the loss of life, no democratic nation in the world would permit a hostile force on its border to target its civilian centers with constant missile attacks. Israel has demonstrated extraordinary restraint as nearly 8000 rockets have been launched at Israel’s cities in the last 8 years. When Israel withdrew every civilian and soldier from Gaza in 2005, the attacks did not stop for a single day.

We believe that military action must always be the last resort. But more and more Israeli cities are now in range of Hamas’ rocket-firing army of terror, and we know that the traumatized children of Sderot and neighboring towns can no longer be expected to live in constant fear. Read on

Looking for updated news media about what’s happening in Israel and Gaza? Click here for Israeli and Jewish news.

Looking for insights into the Gaza situation? Read Rabbi Kipnes’ blog about Gaza.
May the light of Chanukah provide insight and enlightenment to all those who have a hand in this conflict.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the blog.

Chag Chanukah Samayach – Happy Sixth Night of Chanukah.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Wow…this is the last night already! We have enjoyed reading your blog each night, and the ensuing conversations. Thank you for the great information.
    Happy Chanukah to you and your family from The Agoura Hills Youngs. Debi, Rick, & Peter

  2. Marsi Gore says:

    Thank you Rabbi for adding another dimension to Chanukah. I have enjoyed reading the blogs and will actually miss it when I have nothing to contemplate tomorrow!

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