The word Chanukkah is connected to the Hebrew word for education: Chinnukh. Chanukkah means “dedicate,” as the Maccabees rededicated the temple and rededicated the people to Judaism. Education is an on-going form of dedication. Dedication to our children and our grandchildren; dedication to our history and our traditions; dedication to the wisdom of our middot; dedication to tikkun olam.
At Chanukkah, we place our Chanukkiot in our widows and perform the mitzvah of Pirsum Hanes – making the “sign” visible to the world. What sign? The sign of our dedication – dedication to the Jewish sources that burn deeply in our neshamot.
This year, as I light each candle, I will contemplate the dedication of the members of our community who inspire my neshamah.
(1) Our teachers, who day in and day out, share their wisdom, patience, and kindness with the children of the Toronto Heschel School.
(2) Our wonderful parents with whom we partner to raise menches through middot of Torah and Derekh Eretz.
(3) Our grandparents whose insight and experience guide us and give us necessary perspective.
(4) Our staff who make sure our school is clean, safe, warm, and beautiful.
(5) Our professional leaders who gather us in community.
(6) Our parent volunteers and lay leaders who dedicate countless hours of time to making Heschel a welcoming community.
(7) Our artists, musicians, dancers, and dramatists who help us learn with all our heart, body, soul, and mind.
(8) Our students, who are our greatest teachers.
You are all the sources of our light and our inspiration.
Chag Chanukkah Sameach,