Awsome worship resource I found when working up something on Chanukah


Menorah Banner. Illustration by Ralph Yeager Roberts

If you haven’t checked it out already then click on this link for Ritual Well.  It is a collection of prayers, meditations, suggestions about home rituals and more.  The focus is Jewish Practice and the perspective is primarily Reconstructionist.  Reconstructionist Jews are the radical left theologically speaking in Judaism and their members share many concerns and commitments as well as reservations and doubts with a large number of Unitarian Universalists.  Therefor I think many U.U.s will find helpful information and suggestions in Ritual Well..

I was working on something dealing with Chanukkah.  I find it a somewhat troubling Holiday and struggle with the “religious freedom” spin it gets.  The Maccabees lead guerrilla bands off to the hills.  From there they not only attacked their foreign enemies terrorized Jewish towns and villages killing those who refused to join their cause, or killing the family of those reluctant conscripts in order to gain a more enthusiastic response.  When they did gain control they violated Jewish law and practice by establishing their family as a royal line and first selecting the high priest then conflating the role of king and high priest.  Though it is a provocative and to some inappropriate comparison I can not help but think of the Taliban when I read about the Maccabean revolt.

Ritual Well had a great set of readings for each night of Chanukkah which are for the “peaceful Maccabees.”  Each night celebrates and remembers the important contribution of a female leader of the Jewish people Including the only Hasmonean (The Maccabaean line) ruler to expand Israel’s territory, maintain the tenuous sovereignty of the Jewish state, enjoy relative prosperity, and garner the devotion of the Pharisaic religious leaders, without involving the nation in a single war or military campaign, and that would be Queen Salome.

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