A quick scan of this morning’s edition of the Tablet Daily Digest e-mail prompted me to read the lead article, “Hanukkah: A Guide for the Perplexed,” which was fun and quite helpful. And then I moved on.

It wasn’t until I was checking my inbox this afternoon that I saw what should have been at the top of the page: a video by songwriter and senior senator from Utah, Orrin Hatch. How the song came into being is actually a rather heart-warming story, as Jeffrey Goldberg tells it. I had no idea the Sen. Hatch liked to write spirituals.

But, it is a wonderful testament to the spirit of the season that such things can happen so freely and spread a little joy during an afternoon at work. Also, the idea that an Arab singer backed by the vocals of a the Jewish magazine staff sings a song written by a Mormon politician who “possesses a heartfelt desire to reach out to Jews” gives one hope that year-end holidays can bring out the best in people — and a will to understand one’s own traditions and the rituals of others:

“I know a lot of Jewish people that don’t know what Hanukkah means,” he [Hatch] said. Jewish people, he said, should “take a look at it and realize the miracle that’s being commemorated here. It’s more than a miracle; it’s the solidification of the Jewish people.”

And, yes, I do consider this another one of my Friday “video snacks.” *grin*

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What is the pendant Mr. Hatch is wearing?

that is called a mazuzah it has a religious scroll inside with a prayer.  Jewish people usually put one on their doorpost to bless their home.

It is a Mezzusah, in the Jewish tradition this is a rectangular recptacle that is hung on the doorpost of the home. In the recptacle is a small parchment that speaks to the holiness and sacredness of life. It is my understanding that as a person enters the home, they pause to remember that the place they are about to enter is holy.
What a beautiful tradition! I learned about it from Rev. Erie Chapman President of the Baptist Healing Trust who invited hospitals to place a Touch Card of Rmembrance at the door of each patient's room as a visual reminder for the caregiver that the patient in that bed is vulnerabl and in need-and that we are entering into a sacred space...where need is met by love.

What a beautiful idea for the hospitals.