Nov 29 2018 Dvar Torah


Rabbi Helen Cohn

Neighbors

The first night of Chanukah is this Sunday! Although Chanukah seems early this year, that’s only in relation to the secular calendar. For Jews, whose calendar is (mostly) lunar, last Friday night’s big, fat, full moon was a reminder that Chanukah was a mere 10 days away.* Personally I’m glad our holiday is not tangled up with any other holiday. Remember 2013 when the first night of Chanukah was Thanksgiving evening? Of course I’m mainly referring to that other holiday at this time of year that fills the stores, air waves, cooking channels, and general consciousness of our neighbors.

But being good neighbors is the theme this year. The outpouring of support from our non-Jewish friends after the Tree of Life murders, especially various religious groups, has been a great source of support and comfort.

Christmas is right around the corner, and although it is not our holiday, this year I welcome it in gratitude for those Christians who live by their values and who take to heart Jesus’ teaching to “love your neighbor as yourself” (even though he learned it from the Torah  ).

*The full moon is on 15 Kislev, Chanukah begins on 25 Kislev.