During Chanukah, we light candles and say a blessing, thanking God for making miracles “in those days, at this time”. Years ago, I used to wonder why the blessing was formulated in both past and present tenses. I found out that it is usually thought to mean the miracles that happened in those days, at this time of year. But I prefer to interpret it so that I am acknowledging not only the miracles in our history but also the miracles that have happened in my personal life, and are happening now, as well as the miracles that have not yet manifested.
Reb Zalman, z"l offered us the following ritual for Chanukah that is simple yet broadens my perspective and uplifts me.
While the Hanukkah lights are burning, sit and watch them, and going through your life, think of all the miracles that have occurred. When you think of a miracle, stop and thank God. Then continue.
May you be blessed with a Chanukah that shines brightly, both inside and out.
I am a Rabbinic Pastor in the Jewish Renewal tradition who brings a light-filled and joyful Judaism to others who want to experience the best that Jewish spirituality has to offer.