hadar cohen

chanukah meditations

Day 1

first night of chanukah. basking in the magic that is this holiday - full of mysteries, more than can fit in language. the time of dreams, of chaos, of the invisible. each year i am profoundly moved && changed by this eternal light that is.

i am called to accept אלא לראותן בלבד quite literally. to sit with my candles every night & simply look at them. to witness their beauty, their magnificence & radiance, the stories they carry. no other form of action other than seeing while the flames burn.

i have been deeply investigating the process of seeing for some time. so much lies in the shape of the eye. i am abundantly grateful for the pleasure & wisdom of my tradition enabling me to trek into myriad of realms to learn to see. an infinitely unfolding process of knowing who is it that we stand before. may i always learn to see You - developing in-sight of Your majestic essence.

this time is about proclaiming our love to the divine. it is not enough to find our internal light but it is essential we share it with the world. that we publicize the miracles that God has & does give us in each moment. that we share with community, society, & all other realms what divine love is.

so here i am, fulfilling the divine commandment of telling you i stand with God. with Divine Love. with justice for all beings. with grace upon grace upon grace for the Mystery that is.

may this light that is internal & eternal be of service to all beings who are in need of divine grace, love & power.

Day 2

day 2 - the lonely candle that stood on its own yesterday has received support. a partner, a friend to share the task of lighting the darkness.

one light on its own is challenging. one light + one light & we begin to recognize life again.

i’ve been thinking about what it means for us to be in right relation with each other. about the harms that are done relationally. of how we tend, nourish & love one another. we aren’t really taught how to love one another. but there is no doubt the presence of another gives us a fuller life.

two together are potent.

perhaps simply for the oppositional nature reflecting to us more clearly who the i is. or perhaps for the eternal dance of attraction & repulsion that happens in the space of two. regardless of the journey, two strips us of isolation, aloneness & singularity.

may we turn towards one another with kindness, curiosity & forgiveness. may we remember we are all made of the same stuff. this flame of fire burns deep in each one of us - when we access our own we can bear witness to the light of another.

through this work of being & seeing we bring justice to the relational realm, which is the bedrock of all other realms. in turns this shifts all paradigms as we know them to be.

with prayer for a culture that values each other above all else.

Day 3

day 3 - the reality of duality is shattered. no longer is oppositional dynamics at play, rather three aspects create a triangle. a holy mergence of forces operating on a different paradigm than singularity or duality.

three is a community. the origin of a network of relations. perhaps all of life can be condensed into this ground level of network relations.

what happens when we surrender to each other, to the flow of life, is infinitely more magical than anything we might have conceived. our thoughts play games with us all the time but the real truth lies between us. us being multiple. us being in community. us as life force coming into form.

may we need each other as we do - with no shame in needing. with glory in giving. with collective power to express to ourselves && the world that solidarity building is the root of meaning making. that the hard work of creating space for another while holding our own truth && the various fields that play around us is more than everything we could ever yearn for.

Day 4

day 4- stability in universal structure. more harmony, more rootedness. 4 is a chorus of lights occupying half of the chanukiah.

tonight shows the ultimate balance between light and dark - 4 empty candle spaces on the left and 4 light filled candles on the right.

seeing is clarity. knowing that in everything there is both - the pain & the joy, the seen & the unseen, the shining & the shadowing. with this sight we know that the harmony between opposing forces is the nature of life.

may we know in every situation, in every instinct, in every micro & macro plan of the universe - there is a delicate balance that is being tended to. may we learn to tend to balancing just as the universe does with us.

Day 5

day 5 - new moon tenet & shabbat. no writing, all rest.

Day 6

day 6 - which was shabbat too but here they are unlit! (don’t worry day 7 will come shortly)

it’s hard to describe how marvelous && radiant bay area jewish community is. olives && roses hosted a shabbat chanukah & let me tell you what a miracle. what joy to weave an ancient form of community with what is true in our hearts now.

my heart is so full from our glorious celebration of dance, song && light. we went on a journey flowing from ritual to ritual with play, love && excitement. so much vibrancy, so much aliveness, so much spirit.

bay area jews are radiating with creativity, transforming culture to deeply care for one another, bringing sensuality to enliven us, with a fierce yearning for justice for us all.

may the fields across the world feel the light generated on this shabbat. may we know tradition is ours regardless of anything && we may enter it with whatever spirit we have.

i am grateful to be part of such a magnificent unfolding && to bear witness to us reclaiming our divine nature in every moment && in our tradition, history && roots.

to shabbat light, to chanukah light, to divine light

Day 7

day 7 - the fullness of light is almost in completed revelation. the divine choir of lights present themselves in harmony, radiance, && beauty.

7 is the number representing this world, the physical realm, the earthly plane. God created this world in 7 days. 7 is about the here && now - what is accessible for us to be known. 7 reflects the complete picture we are given.

&& 7 is not yet 8. not yet supernatural. not yet totality + infinite. on this night we are reminded that though we might be complete, the absence of one candle throws us all into an asymmetrical plane of view. a missing light renders all of knowing an illusion. we might think we know the truth of living, but without all of everything we cannot know.

may we see the wholeness in the divine creation && give space to what is left unseen, unknown, unheard.

Day 8

day 8 - the vertical infinite symbol. tonight we complete our lighting with the endless, the everlasting flowing light of the One. tonight we remember that the light doesn’t stop but keeps going.

every candle is lit. every soul is awakened. everything that is in hiding is seen. these are the dreams of tonight.

we hold this image until next year. the knowing that the infinite is actually present always. that God is always here - regardless if the candles are all lit. but it sure creates incredible beauty to witness light in action.

may we know our light, may we bring it forth, may we celebrate ourselves && each other in honor of the source of all.