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Jewish Journal

Of Dreams, Love and Miracles:  Thanksgivukkah

by Dr. Afshine Emrani

November 27, 2013 | 7:09 am

It was the night before Chanukah. I had a dream. There were seven fat turkeys and seven lean turkeys marching in a wide room. Some wore red, white and blue, some white and blue, one just white. Children from all over the world sat around the oval table. They played noisily with their toys. Candles flickered, lighting the dark room.

I sat beside a first child. She asked me where she was born, if I could please tell her. I wasn’t sure if she was more curious or nostalgic of her birth. The second, played with heavenly hopes, dynamic dreams, staring into space, measuring things. A third was a little boy with blonde hair, fair skin. He told me he loved walking by the lake and laughing when the ripples went out from his stone’ throw. An older boy told the story of his family. They were from a Persian Empire whose end the sun never met, of giants that walked the land, of a world that flowed with poetry over reason, a land of honor. Then, a skinny boy, not much hair, black skin. This one remained silent and observed. A little girl in the corner cried. She spoke with a thick Israeli accent, her tears, and her disappointment in the unfulfilled promised of her parents. She whispered “The greatest risk of love is not rejection, but the certainty of loss.”

The light of day woke me. I don’t think it was the turkeys’ birthday party. I was reminded by Facebook that this day would not come again for another 70,000 years.

It was also Thanksgiving. Joseph was the interpreter of dreams. But what of mine? Where was Chagall in my dreams? My wakeful thoughts were even more mosaic.

As plants, we run roots and are bound to land, but as souls, we are bound together by our faith. In life, we see fat years and lean years. The brightness of our internal light does not wax or wane with our financial strength, its switch connected to the faith that binds us to the Eternal Light.

The miracle is not in the light of the candles. The miracle is in the laughter of children in an orphanage, in the woman who stands up and loves again after a brutal divorce, in the man who is abused by his father and breaks the cycle refusing to raise his hand, in the mother who adopts after the tragic loss of her child. The true miracle and pure holiness is in the strength of the human spirit, in our courage to get up after we have fallen, in our gratitude despite the pain, in our faith to start anew, hoping one day to return to His loving arms to be mended again.

Dear God- Let me remember that what I think I own, I am only a temporary guardian of, that I came here with nothing and will leave with nothing. Let me enjoy the sweetness of knowing that loss is as temporary as possession and that as the river of material things run through my life, what actually remains is love, kindness and your Truth.

My God- My children are the brightest twinkles in my life. Let me pray for their continued forgiveness for the mistakes I make raising them. Let their wonder be a source of eternal amazement at the miracles you place around each corner. Keep them pure.

Our God, as we join together to shine lights over darkness, cast wonder over doubt, and praise love over fear, let us not forget that through these acts of courage, we give thanks to you, for this land, for her freedom, for her bounty.

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