“How many compact fluorescent light bulbs does it take to change the world?”
In the Chanukah story, the small miracle of the oil that burned for eight days stands for the great miracle of Judaism surviving from generation to generation. In the same way, the small “miracle” of a CFL can stand for the greater miracle of changing our use of energy and other resources so that future generations will be able to enjoy the blessings we have.
First Night – Clean City Air:
Blessed are You, Spirit of the World, who has given us the gift of life through breath. May we be able to continue to breathe in fresh, clean air, reminding us of humanity’s creation.
Second Night – A More Peaceful World:
Blessed are You, who spreads the canopy of peace over the four corners of the earth. Guide us in the pursuit of peace and wholeness throughout the world.
Third Night – Stabilized Climate:
Blessed are You, Creator of All Worlds, who with wisdom created our world in a delicate balance. Let us respect how every being and every act connects us as one life.
Fourth Night – A Nuclear Genie Back in the Bottle:
Blessed are You, Source of Life, who has given us the ability to destroy life and sustain life. Teach us to use our power to support life and growth and to refrain from harm of the earth and other beings.
Fifth Night – A Clean Water Cycle:
Blessed are You, Living Waters, who grants rain in its seasons. Help us preserve the lakes, rivers, oceans and all bodies of water, so that all beings can depend on water’s sustenance for life.
Sixth Night – A Safe Food Chain:
Blessed are You, Nurturing One, who partners with us to bring nourishment to us through food. May we eat our fill and become more sensitive to the balance of all creatures on earth.
Seventh Night – Bountiful Land:
Blessed are You, the Ancient One, who created the earth in its beauty. Grant us the foresight to respect the land that we have been given by working to conserve its natural beauty.
Eighth Night – A Gift for the Future:
Blessed are You, Sustainer of Generations, who brings together parents and children. May we recognize that this earth will belong to those who will come after us, so that we may keep the earth as a vital gift that is eternal.
These blessings, written by Rabbi Joshua Lesser, have been excerpted from “One for Each Night: A The holiday which celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following its conquest by the Syrians in 165 BCE. The holiday is celebrated by lighting candles in a hanukiyah oon each of eight nights. Other customs include the eating of fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly donuts), playing dreidl (a gambling game with a spinning top), and, in present day America, gift giving. Study Guide for a Brighter Future.” For the complete guide, click here.