Hanukkah Meditation

The miracle of the real.

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A Simple Pleasure

That's it really--one of life's simple pleasures. See what happens when you try it. You might just relax; the rushing is over, there's nothing else to do--and here you are, basking in the simple beauty of the Hanukkah candlelight. Maybe you can feel that delightful satisfaction of the truly rich person--the one who is happy with her share of the world. Just seeing--just that simple pleasure. Or you might find that the simple act of seeing makes space for holiness to be experienced, rather than merely invoked. After all, what is the difference between hearing "everything is holy" and actually feeling it? Nothing about the world--nothing changes with enlightenment. But everything about the readiness of the mind to receive it.

Sometimes this eye-opening can be transcendent, reminding us of timeless truths or the Infinite itself. Other times, it can be even greater: an opening to the Immanent, to the physicality of sight and its object, to the exquisite sensuality of the real.

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Jay Michaelson

Jay Michaelson is a writer & teacher. He is a columnist for the Forward, the chief editor of Zeek, the executive director of Nehirim: GLBT Jewish Culture & Spirituality, and the author of God in Your Body. He is a Ph.D candidate in Jewish thought at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and holds a J.D. from Yale.