Tradition & Innovation

Menorah of Stars

In Jewish mysticism, the number eight represents pure potentiality, transcendence, infinity. During Hanukkah we light eight candles. We enter into a time of miracles, a time of potentiality, a time of pure transcendence, a time of infinity.

See your body as a miracle, "awesomely, wondrously made" (Psalm 139:14), a sacred vessel, a container for the light of God. See your body as a Hanukkah menorah. Envision each of your four limbs as candles. Now envision three candles in the core of your body—your chest, abdomen, and spine. Envision your head and face as the eighth candle. These are eight candles of the soul, eight candles of infinity. Now envision a flame from above, reaching down from the heavens, lighting each of your candles. Focus on the source of the flame—the One God, the Creator of All That Is—the One who said "va'yehi or—let there be light." Now see this light flowing inward, filling all the cells of your body with microscopic menorot of pure light. Your entire body glows with this light of the Infinite Flame.

Now envision the flames of your menorah flowing outward from your body in a stream of light, reaching up into the night sky, becoming one with the light of the stars. As you look up, see a menorah made entirely of stars filling the night sky. Now envision many universes, filled with countless constellations of star menorot, each one filled with eight candles of infinity, each candle lit by the Infinite Flame. "The human soul is the candle of God" (Proverbs). Even in the darkest night, these eight candles of the soul, these eight candles of infinity, are always there for you—deep within you—waiting to be kindled. Even in the darkest night, the light of the Infinite Flame is always there for you—waiting to ignite your soul.

Ritual Component

Ingredients of Prayer: Writing Contemporary Liturgy

What makes a prayer a prayer? What are the varieties of ways to encounter prayer in our daily lives and make it our own? How do I write my own prayers? Join acclaimed liturgist Alden Solovy in a playful and inquisitive exploration of the ingredients of prayer. Connect with other seekers and write your own prayers in a safe and supportive environment. Classes meet online through Zoom and begin October 16th. All are welcome!

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