Dear TBC Family,

Last night, an attack in Monsey became the most recent in a string of antisemitic incidents in the New York area. 

In the future, when we look back at 2019, we will remember how the holiday of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, was accompanied by the shadows that come from hate and intolerance.

As we approach a new year and a new decade, we pray for a future where no one will be afraid to be publicly, joyously Jewish. We  pray that all people will know peace and safety. We pray that the light that we kindle in our hearts will be enough to chase away the shadows.

On this last night of Hanukkah, I ask that you take a moment to read the following prayer before you light the shamash candle. The shamash  is the leader or helper, the candle that lights all the others.  T onight, we pray that the  shamash  is also a Candle of Hope

Candle of Hope, Light of Convergence
By Ariel Neshama Lee
At this darkest time of the year, we light this Candle of Hope.
Let us say a prayer of hope for our world; Hope for more light in a world where there is too much darkness;
Hope for understanding between all people of the world;
Hope for unity in a world of divisiveness;
Hope for comfort and healing in a world with too much pain and suffering;
Hope for warmth in a world that is becoming ever colder;
Hope for peace - peace in our hearts, peace in our world.
Let us illuminate the dark places, filling them with light - candle by candle.
Chazak. Chazak. V'nitchazek.
Be strong. Be strong. And let us strengthen one another.

-Rabbi Rachel Bearman