Life is full of ups and downs, but if you’re a New Yorker, these past few months have felt like a roller coaster.
It began with Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the East Coast, promptly followed by the war in Israel. The sobering world climate hung heavy over our daily tasks as we found ourselves appreciating even the smallest things which we had taken for granted just weeks before: our families, our homes, our sense of security.
In the meantime, my own family entered a new era when, wham:
You will recall that in 2010 I shared the news about our first daughter who was married in August. http://lev-lalev.org/two-brides-oceans-apart-both-close-to-my-heart/ This was the same time that Naava, one of our orphaned girls at the Home, celebrated her marriage as well.
In the past two years, through the support of our generous friends, the Lev LaLev Fund has married off other orphans as well. And now that my next daughter is, thank G-d, on the threshold of entering this wondrous era of her life, the same emotions emerge as they did with my other daughter. They include gratitude for the ability to be there for her, especially in the backdrop of our orphaned girls who have no one (but Lev LaLev) to help them enter this same new phase.
The timing of my daughter’s engagement is perfect, piercing through the heightened emotion and communal worries of these past months and shifting us into a new focus of happiness and gratitude. Similarly, in just a few days, we will usher in Chanukah, which will do the exact same thing.
In these fall months, the intensity and joy of the High Holy Days and Sukkot are a distant memory. Days are shorter, nights are longer and the official start of winter is just weeks away.
On a spiritual level, this increased dark of night can be compared to the magnetic pull in our society which directs us towards a materialistic void. It takes effort to remain connected to holiness. And just as we may begin to lose hope, the light of Chanukah pierces through to give us another opportunity to reconfigurate ourselves and reconnect with the light of our spirituality.
The eight days it takes to celebrate Chanukah is particularly significant. Not only do we receive eight gifts (well, some of us anyway) but we also add another candle each night to increases the lights.
As you celebrate Chanukah with the aroma of latkes and the joy of spinning dreidels, remember that your generosity and support similarly lights up the lives our orphaned girls at the Home.
Thank you so much for being their Chanukah miracle! And MAZEL TOV!
Director of Development