The Season of Dedication

Hanukkah Menorah 1When I was a boy the central miracle of Hanukkah didn’t impress me. One day’s worth of oil burned for eight days. A miracle, sure, but after everything G-d did for us in the desert, it didn’t seem so big of a miracle. I was more impressed with the desire of the Maccabees to preserve our faith, to rededicate the Temple, to restore it as a place of holiness. This prayer appears in my CCAR Press book, This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day.

The Season of Dedication
This is the season of dedication:
Of dedicating our moments and our lives,
Of dedicating our hope and our strength,
To live by G-d’s Word.

This is the season of cleansing:
Of cleansing our hearts and our sanctuaries,
Of cleansing our deeds and our ways,
Creating sacred time and space.

This is the season of service:
Of service to our neighbors and community,
Of service to K’lal Yisrael,
In the name of justice and peace.

This is the season of dedication:
Of dedication to strength and honor,
Righteousness and duty.
This is the season that calls forth miracles,
That summons the light of holiness,
The season the reminds us to rebuild and restore
Our commitment to mitzvot and avodah
In G-d’s holy name.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day by Alden Solovy

Postscript: Now that I am older, I am not so impressed with the Maccabees, either. They seem to be historic role models of sinat chinam. This prayer was first posted on Dec. 1, 2010. It is part of a series of prayers tied to various holidays and seasonal themes in the Jewish calendar, including: “The Season of Counting,” “The Season of Building” and “The Season of Healing.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing.

Photo Credit: Jerusalem Baskets

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6