Winter thoughts from Rabbi Matt Carl

Hanukkah is the only holiday that coincides with a Rosh Hodesh and most of our holidays are right in the middle of months, thankfully, as this means we can celebrate our holidays with the full light of the moon. Near the end of Hanukkah, by contrast, not only do we always lose the light of the moon, it happens when we lose most of the light of the sun. The darkest time of the month and the darkest time of the year together. As our Tradition has called it, “darkness upon darkness”. What a great message, then, that Hanukkah doesn’t end this way. We have a couple more days of Hanukkah after Rosh Hodesh Tevet to watch the moonlight increase along with the light of our candles. As always, we strive through our rituals to live a better life, in this case knowing that the miracle we celebrate on the Festival of Light isn’t that we never experience darkness, but that we often experience darkness and God, Torah, and Israel miraculously give us more light than we think we have, more light today than we had yesterday.

Wishing you light,

Rabbi Matt Carl