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When I left the Northern Hemisphere, Chanukkah in the heat and heart of long summer days was novel paradox.  None of my warm childhood Michigan-menorah- memories (family gathered in a cozy kitchen singing blessings as the snow fell outside icicle framed windows) would find a home in Sydney.  While my adolescent chanukkah candles brought light to California’s mild wet winters, December darkness came early in the evening and night air had a chill.  Candles brought shining light to the dark seasons in San Diego and Los Angeles – but not to Perth in December.

This year, slowly leaning toward a decade of Jewish Life in Australia, Chanukkah’s approach is showing itself in a new light.  The Indian Ocean is warmer now for early morning swims – I’ve traded my wet-suit in for a “rashi” (as Aussies call the sun-protective swim-shirt).  The sun sparkles on the morning water like thousands of little candles, beckoning me to joy, play, refreshment and renewal.  The warm evenings welcome me to walk about barefoot under the clear sky.  Shiny bright stars against the vast blackness slowly and silently sing that cosmic light is continuous…is everywhere; keep hoping -keep faith.  Above I see the Southern Cross – but looking Menorah-like now – Shamus lit and always waiting to share the light we can reflect as we bring brightness of blessing wherever we have been placed on this earth.

May you find deeper meaning in Chanukkah, and bring greater light wherever you travel this holiday season and always!  And…feel free to join us over Chanukkah if you are in Australia or would like to skype in to the festivities!  Contact us for details.

1st Candle Tuesday16/12 @ 7:00 pm North of River

2nd Candle Wednesday 17/12 @ 7:30 in Palmyra

3rd Candle Thursday 18/12 @ 7:00 Multi-faith Menorah Lighting; all are welcome to celebrate and share a sweet evening of light, song, and dreidel.  Bring a sweet or healthy treat to share and a gold-coin donation.  Contact us for exact location South of the River.

4th Candle Shabbat Evening Friday 19/12 in Winthrop 6:00 Bring & Share Veggie Latke Dinner, 7:00 Candles, 7:30 Chanukkah Jam Session- Bring your instruments, voice, drums and/or festive mood!

5th Candle Saturday 20/12 @ 7:30 South of River

Perth Community Chanukkah Celebration: Sunday 21/12 @ the Maccabean Oval Community Festivities!  Visit the Jewish Spirituality Australia Table for a Gamatria Gift based on your name (4:00 – 6:45) and join us for the communal Chanukkia lighting at 7:00.

7th and 8th Candles 21-22/12  Contact us for details.