Beth Shalom Congregation

Hannukah 2009/5770

Columbia, MD

Meditation of Solidarity with Women of the Wall for the Seventh Night of Hanukkah

Composed by Rabbi Susan Grossman

To be recited upon lighting each of the Hanukkah Candles:

First Candle: At this time of year so long ago, an enemy rose against us, seeking to destroy us by outlawing Torah and Mitzvot.

Second Candle: With faith and courage, Jewish women kept alive the flame of Judaism, circumcising their sons and teaching their children Torah, though it cost them their lives.

Third Candle: Their courage inspired the Maccabees, and all who followed them, to unite or the cause of Jewish sovereignty and religious freedom. Though outnumbered and outmatched, they were victorious, for the cause they fought for was just and God was with them.

Fourth Candle: We live in miraculous times, in which a sovereign Jewish State exists and thrives despite the continuous efforts of countless enemies to destroy it. Yet, thevalue of religious freedom for which the Maccabees fought has been forgotten by some who owe so much to the Maccabee’s valor.

Fifth Candle: Tonight we stand in solidarity with Women of the Wall who seek to raise their voices in prayer to You, our God and God of our ancestors. Tonight we stand in solidarity with Nofrat Frenkel, who was arrested on Rosh Hodesh Kislev for wearing a tallit at the Kotel, the holy Western Wall, while seeking only to express her faith in You and fulfill Your commandments as contained in Your Torah.

Sixth Candle: Tonight on this Festival of Lights, we gather as Conservative, Orthodox, Reform, Reconstructionist, and secular Jew, united in our belief that all Jews are bound up with each other and that we share a historic mission to serve as a light unto other nations. In a world of increasing darkness concerning the rights of women to education and personal autonomy, we seek to spread the light of freedom of conscience and personal religious practice for all people, and particularly for women.

Seventh Candle: May God who brought victory to the Maccabees so long ago, strengthen Nofrat and the other faithful daughters of Israel who, like the Maccabees, seek religious freedom in Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel. May God help them win their battle to gain recognition of a woman’s right to worship You fully in our holiest of holy places before the Kotel, before the traditional site of the Western Wall. May all of Israel, our People and the Nation about which we care so deeply, thus be strengthened and blessed. And let us say,Amen.

Beth Shalom Congregation, Columbia, MD

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