Bringing Forth the Light

One Hebrew expression for the publication of a book is l’hotzee l’or, literally, “to bring it to light,” although most speakers of modern Hebrew would use the word l’farsem. This Hebrew word also means to publicize, and it may have come into modern Hebrew by way of the Aramaic expression pirsuma neisa, to publicize the miracle, which is how the ancient sages refer to one of the essential observances of Hanukkah. (See Talmud Bavli, Shabbat 23bBava Kamma 62b)

We display the Hanukkah menorah publicly, in our windows and even outdoors, to bring forth the light in order to dispel the darkness. I was reminded of this etymological connection when I heard that my writing had been published this week, on these first two days of Hanukkah, and I’m delighted to publicize the two organizations that brought my words to light.

Tiferet Journal

Hanukkah Day 1: I received word from the folks at Tiferet that Offerings: A Spiritual Poetry Anthology from Tiferet Journal is now available for purchase. It includes a poem I wrote earlier this year, “For My Children.” I’m especially excited because this volume of Offerings was brought to light in paperback and digital formats, while the previous volumes that were published during 2020-21 are available only digitally. I encourage you to explore all of the great work produced by Tiferet at their website.

Hanukkah Day 2: I learned that my contribution to this week’s Builders Blog series, which includes this magnificent illustration for Parashat Miketz by Steve Silbert, is now live on Bayit’s website. This Torah portion is always read during Hanukkah and connects to the theme of the holiday, namely miracles. According to the biblical account, Joseph possessed a divine gift of interpreting dreams and thus was blessed with foreknowledge of the famine. 

Here’s a taste—pun intended—of Torah, along with another heartfelt encouragement to explore all of the great work produced by Bayit: Building Jewish at their website.

Miketz: Food Justice

Here Joseph is portrayed as pragmatic: each community will be equipped with its own food pantry during the lean years. We can learn a lot from Joseph’s ancient system of food storage, practical lessons for our 21st century cities, where wealthy residents live surrounded by gourmet markets while those on “the other side of the tracks” live in food deserts, Read more