How is lighting the Hanukkah candles just like a Grateful Dead show?
They both grow in intensity as they progress!
In fact Grateful Dead history includes many touchstones of Judaism…. Hanukkah means “dedication”. It refers to the rededication of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem after the Greek conquerors destroyed it. A rag-tag army led by Judah the Maccabee and his brothers overcame the bigger and better Greek army. So now we celebrate…. we commemorate the Hanukkah miracle of a small jar of oil lasting eight days. And who knows more about miracles than the Grateful Dead and the Deadheads who follow them? I wonder who the first deadhead was who thought to put a finger in the air and pointed to a sign saying, “I need a miracle” Just like the rabbis in Jewish tradition…by introducing the word miracle into the Dead lexicon- the band opened up people’s consciousness to the possibility of finding a miracle every day!
The lyrics of Scarlet Begonias observe, “Once in a while you can get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” The best of lights throughout time find a way to continue to burn despite the darkness that threatens them. May our Hanukkah candles inspire us to find the light that will illuminate the way towards a better world.
Happy Hanukkah Everyone!