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                           President’s Message

                                         Daniel Aharon

                                                                 This gratitude that we feel on Chanukah may have a couple of
                                                                 levels.   We should feel gratitude that Hashem allowed us to
                                                                 be victorious over the Greeks as well as the miracle of the last
                                                                 bit of pure oil lasting eight nights.  However, I think that on
                                                                 this Chanukah, we should focus on the rededication of the Beit
                                                                 Hamikdash that took place after we drove out the Greeks.  This
                                                                 finally allowed us to freely practice our Judaism again.  Today,
                                                                 with all the anti-Semitism that we are experiencing in the
                                                                 world, it is important that we express our gratitude that we are
                                                                 able to freely practice Judaism today in our own safe Mikdash
                                                                 Me’at, which is the Great Neck Synagogue.

                                                                 On behalf of Marcy and our children, I wish you all a Happy
                                                                 Daniel Aharon

       When I was growing up, our Mom used to give us little gifts
       over the course of Chanukah.  We were thankful for these little
       gifts, and one year we decided it was time to give back.  How-
       ever, as young kids, we didn’t have any money.  Nonetheless,
       we were very determined and weren’t about to let the lack of
       funds get in the way of our plan to give back to her.  So, we
       creatively took some items around the house, like her jewelry,
       shoes, and maybe an appliance or two, gift wrapped them and
       gave them to her as gifts.
       At first, I think she was amazed and shocked when she saw
       all the wrapped gifts that were laid out in front of her (I’m sure
       there was also some “concern” mixed in while wondering exact-
       ly how we purchased all these items).  But then, as she began
       to unwrap her “gifts”, her “concern” turned into relief and then
       sheer gratitude that we had gone to all this trouble to give her
       these wonderful gifts.  Her animated positive reaction of grat-
       itude made a deep impression on us.  I know that she mainly
       did it for us to feel good about giving, but there was something
       deeper.  I think she was also teaching us about how to express                                                  Watercolor, Andy Allen ©2022
       gratitude and to be happy with what we have.  After all, she
       already owned the “gifts” she received from us.

       It is commonly known that on Chanukah we light the candles
       to symbolize the power of overcoming the darkness of that
       time period in Jewish history, but it is also known as a time of
       gratitude or thanksgiving.  We know this from the supplemen-  I think she (Mom) was also teaching us about
       tal prayer, Al Hanissim, that we add to our Shemonah Esrei and
       Birkat Hamazon on Chanukah.  In Al Hanissim it concludes with   how to express gratitude and to be happy
       “…they set these days of Hanukkah to lighting candles to chant              with what we have.
       the Hallel in gratitude…”

                                                  SCOPE Magazine Chanukah 2022   6
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