The Religion Network publishes Monday, Wednesday & Friday
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Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.

Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.


Book of Luke, Book of Psalms, Edward A. Hayes, Oren Arnold

    "Chanukah"                   Marc Chagall

    Chanukah First Blessing

    Blessed are you, Lord our
    G-d, King of the Universe,
    Who sanctified us by his
    commandments, and has
    commanded us to kindle
    the lights of Chanukah.

    Chanukah Second Blessing

    Blessed are you, Lord our
    G-d, King of the Universe,
    Who wrought miracles for
    our fathers in days of old,
    at this season.

    Chanukah Third Blessing

    Blessed are you, Lord our
    G-d, King of the Universe,
    Who has kept us alive, and has
    preserved us, and enabled us
    us to reach this season.

    A menorah in the French Alps

    What is Chanukah? ...
    When the royal Hasmonean family
    overpowered and was victorious over (the Greeks), *
    they searched and found only a single cruse of pure
    oil...enough to light the menorah for a single day.

    A miracle occurred, and they lit the menorah
    with this oil for eight days.

    On the following year, they established these (eight days)
    as days of festivity and praise and thanksgiving to G-d.

        *Occurring in 165 BCE (Lisa's note)

    Talmud, Shabbat 21b

    Moscow menorah

    In the beginning,
    "G-d said, 'Let There Be Light.'"

    The first night of Chanukah


    The reference is not only to physical light
    as we know it. This initial statement is
    rather the mandate of all Creation. The
    ultimate goal and purpose of creation is
    that the Divine Light shine throughout the
    world, transforming everything, even
    darkness itself, so that it, too, will shine.

    Courtesy of


    The mitzvah of kindling the Chanukah lights begins at sunset ...
    They are to be placed in the outer doorway of one's home;
    if one lives on the second floor, one should place them
    in a window which looks out to the street.

    Talmud, Shabbat 21b


    The Chanukah Lights which are kindled in the darkness of the night recall to our
    minds memories of the past: the war that
    the Hasmoneans waged against huge Syrian
    armies, their victory, the dedication of the
    Temple, the rekindling of the Menorah,
    the small quantity of oil that lasted for
    many days, and so on...

      In such times of distress we must always be like that faithful band of Hasmoneans,
      and remember that there is always a drop
      of 'pure olive oil' hidden deep in the heart
      of every Jew,
      which, if kindled, bursts into a big flame. This drop of 'pure olive oil'
      the 'Perpetual Light' that must and will pierce the darkness of our present night,
      until everyone of us will behold the fulfillment of the prophet's promise for our
      ultimate redemption and triumph. And
      as in the days of the Hasmoneans 'the
      wicked will once again be conquered by
      the righteous, and the arrogant by those
      who follow G-d's laws, and our people
      Israel will have a great salvation.'

    Chanukah customs include eating foods
    fried in oil -- latkes (potato pancakes) and
    sugganiot (doughnuts); playing with the
    dreidel (a spinning top on which are
    inscribed the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel,
    and shin, and acronym for Nes Gadol
    Hayah Sham,
    "a great  miracle happened
    there"); and the giving of Chanukah gelt,
    gifts of money, to children.

    Courtesy of


    The Hebrew word "Chanukah" has three meanings:

    - Education

    - Dedication

    - Beginning

The Last Word:

The miracle of Chanukah was that they lit the menorah
with this oil for eight days -- that the flame of selfless
sacrifice blazed beyond a moment of truth, beyond a
day of reckoning. That the small pure cruse of oil
burned beyond its one-day lifespan for an additional
week, illuminating the seven chambers of the soul
(Kabbalistic teaching enumerates seven middot or
basic character traits -- love, restraint, harmony,
ambition, devotion, bonding and receptiveness --
from which stem all feelings and motivations of
the heart). This was no mere flash of light in a sea
of darkness, but a flame destined to shed purity
and light for all generations, under all conditions.

Based on the teaching of the Lubavitcher Rebbe;
adapted by Yanki Tauber
Originally published in "Week in Review"
Courtesy of and




























Bonus Quote:

He who receives a benefit should never forget it;
he who bestows one should never remember it.

Pierre Charron (1541-1603)


see also:
Here I Am:
Chosen and