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Edmond J. Safra Synagogue & Joseph S. Jemal Synagogue


Shabbat Mikess

Hanukah Deal & Turnberry Prayer & Class Schedule


Shabbat Mikess

Friday December 7th                      Deal                      Turnberry Village

Shir Hashirim & Minha                   4:00 pm                      5:00 pm

Candle Lighting                            4:11 pm                      5:11 pm


Shabbat December 8th

Shahrit                                           8:15 am                      7:45 am

Rabbi’s Class                         After Habdalah                   4:00 pm

Minha followed by Seuda Shelisheet 3:50 pm                 4:50 pm

Arbit                                             4:50 pm                      5:50 pm

Shabbat Ends                            5:10 pm                      6:11 pm



Seeing Beyond the Surface

There is a very strong association between Hanukah and the sense of sight, of seeing. We sing each night of Hanukkah, “These candles are sacred; we don’t have permission to benefit from their light but their purpose is simply to be looked at.” Moreover, we have a unique law on Hanukah. The Gemara tells us - ha’roeh mevareich, one who can’t light for himself or herself and sees the candles of someone else nevertheless makes the second blessing of “Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers.” When I see someone put on tefillin, take a lulav, or blow shofar, I don’t make a blessing. Only on Hanukah do I make a blessing when seeing someone else do the misvah. Why?

The Kedushat Levi, tells us that Hanukah is the holiday of seeing. The different Jewish holidays correspond with our different senses. On Purim our hearing is heightened as we listen to the Megillah. On Pesah our sense of taste is sharpened when we eat massah and marror. On Hanukah, he says, we evaluate our sense of sight, testing how well we see.

What kind of seeing are we referring to? It is not our physical sense of sight. Indeed, our eyes are a liability. We often feel that “seeing is believing.” If I can perceive and observe it, it is true. If I can’t, it is not real. Following this rule, we run the risk of dismissing and disregarding the most precious truths and realities in our lives. There are ideas, feelings, thoughts and dreams that are authentic and genuine, despite the fact that they can’t be seen or observed.

Our Rabbis describe the Greek empire and Hellenist influence as hoshech, darkness. In expounding on the opening verses of the creation of the world, the Midrash Rabbah says “darkness was on the face of the deep” – this refers to the Greek exile. Our Rabbis taught that darkening our eyes was the goal of our Greek oppressors.

What is the difference between a room that is filled with darkness versus one filled with light? Is there any change to the room itself? Whether the light is on or off in the room, the furniture remains the same, the layout of the room, the placement of the door, and the height of the ceiling are a constant. What, then, is the difference between the light being on or off in my room – just my perception, my ability to identify and see the reality, the truth and that which was right before me all along. Hanukah is about seeing things, people, ideas, and miracles that are really right in front of us, even though we may not be able to visibly see them.

The Hashmonaim didn’t see their few numbers, weak army, and impossible task. They saw the mighty hand of G-d, they saw the obligation to fight, and they saw Divine protection that would accompany them.

Hanukah is about lighting the candles and using them to harness our sight, our deep vision of what is true, precious, and dear. When we look at our spouses and children, do we see the amazing blessing of their presence in our lives or do we hear lots of noise, see rooms that need to be cleaned up, and a messy house? When we face a challenge do we see no way out or an opportunity to further lean on our Creator? There are truths all around us; it is up to us to decide what to look at and how to see.


Happy Hanukah to all!

Rabbi Isaac Farhi



Mon, December 10 2018 2 Tevet 5779