It is good to reflect on the symbols of light and hope that mark the Jewish Feast of Chanukah and the Christian Feast of Advent, a time when "Jews and Christians use the symbols of candles and lights to shatter the winter darkness."
(This quote is from an excerpt of Archbishop Prendergast's speech at a testimonial dinner honoring Rabbi Erwin and Mrs. Laura Schild.) Both of these feast days begin on different days every year and this year, Chanukah begins at sundown on Wednesday, December 1st 2010, while Advent begins tomorrow Sunday, November 28th 2010. Chanukah's celebration lasts eight days ending on December 9th 2010, and Advent lasts until December 24th 2010. Since I am involved with making invitations and greeting cards which are often used to commentate these holidays, I read many blogs about them and recently discovered Prendergast's speech on a blog posting by Deborah Gyapong.
Gyapong writes "Chanukah means 'dedication,' and commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its desecration by foreign forces and the Jews' victory over the Hellenist Syrians in the year 165 B. C. For the rededication celebration, the Maccabees desired to light the menorah and looked everywhere for oil, finally finding a small flask that contained only enough oil to light the menorah for one day. Miraculously, the oil lasted for eight days. The message of Chanukah may be found in the name of the holiday itself: dedication —not only of the temple building but of individual lives to the pursuit of high religious and human ideals."
There are many traditions associated with the Chanukah holiday which you can read about by clicking here. It is also a time for sending cards and giving gifts. I have found that clients enjoy using my kaleidoscopic note-cards (because of their intricate colored patterns) for this purpose. A sample of a card from this collection can be seen at the top of this post. It is called "Sunset in Riverside Park" and was discussed in length in a radio interview for 1010 WINS; in a segment for John Montone's New York. You may hear that interview by clicking here.
My kaleidoscopic card collection (and other selections) can be found in the unique store-front pages of my web-site, where purchase information is available. All of my kaleidoscopic cards are derived from original prints which can be ordered in a variety of sizes. I wrote about this in a previous blog entry, where I included an image of a framed art print, showing how it was seen in a gallery exhibition. I posted this image in that entry, and you may see it by clicking here to view.
If you celebrate Chanukah, I hope the promises of its season grant you the desires of your heart and fill you with peace. If you celebrate Advent, I will be posting about it tomorrow which is the First Sunday in Advent.
Whatever your feast is, the two I have mentioned here or something else, may it bring you and yours peace, and shed light to all nations.
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