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University of Colorado Boulder Program in Jewish Studies

Dedicating the Light and Dedicating the Light: A Double Hanukkah Celebration

Bonai ShalomThe Hanukkah miracle that we celebrate is, of course, about a small vessel of oil lasting eight times longer than expected, which allowed the Temple in Jerusalem to be rededicated.  Our world is dependent, even addicted to oil and other fossil fuels, which provide energy to us in miraculous ways, but also leave a carbon footprint.  We also know that the oil reserves will not last forever.  Renewable sources of energy seem vital for our future, however much we pray for miracles!

Recently a solar panel appeared in Bonai Shalom’s parking lot, which connects to a battery pack that powers our Ner Tamid, the Eternal Light above the ark.  This has been a project that has been in the works for a few years and, finally, thanks to a grant from Hazon and collaboration with some smart members, we are up and running.  We receive energy from the mighty source of power, the sun, to bring the flame of hope and survival, as a perpetual reminder of our physical and spiritual existence.  Even though, in the grand scheme, one solar panel is negligible, the symbolism is profound and it carries a commitment to a more sustainable Jewish spirituality.

Hanukkah is all about rededication through light too, so we are having a December double dedication on Wednesday December 17th at Bonai Shalom with candles, songs, activities, food and our solar Ner Tamid dedication.

5:00 pm – Family Hanukkah candle lighting (bring your own menorah!), songs and refreshments in the social hall

5:30 pm – Games and activities

6:00 pm – Dedication of the Solar Ner Tamid in the Sanctuary.

May our world be filled with bright, sustainable light!

Happy Hanukkah from all at Bonai Shalom!

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Prep

About Rabbi Marc Soloway

Marc is a native of London, England where he was an actor and practitioner of complimentary medicine before training as a rabbi in London, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. He was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at the American Jewish University in 2004 and has been the the spiritual leader at Bonai Shalom in Boulder ever since. Marc was a close student of Rabbi Zalman Schechter Shalomi and received an additional smicha (rabbinic ordination) from him in 2014, just two months before he died. He has been the host and narrator of two documentary films shown on PBS; A Fire in the Forest: In Search of the Baal Shem Tov and Treasure under the Bridge: Pilgrimage to the Hasidic Masters of Ukraine. Marc is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, has traveled to Ghana in a rabbinic delegation with American Jewish World Service and co-chair of the Rabbinical Council and national board member of Hazon, which strives to create more sustainable Jewish communities. In 2015, Marc was among a group of 12 faith leaders honored at The White House as “Champions of Change” for work on the climate. Marc is a proud member of Beit Izim, Boulder’s Jewish goat milking co-op.

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