Tonight, the Mississippi Gulf Coast had it's first public Hanukkah lighting. Chabad of New Orleans sponsored it and my congregation, Beth Israel of Biloxi, participated. Our new shul is to be built in Gulfport. Hopefully, groundbreaking will be held in a few months. Our shul in Biloxi was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Tonight, in addition to remembering the victory of the few over the many, these lights serve as a dedication and a promise that our congregation will grow and continue to add light to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
The ocean sounds, HaShem,
the ocean sounds its thunder,
the ocean sounds its pounding.
Above the thunder of the mighty waters,
more majestic than the breakers of the sea
is HaShem, majestic on high.
Let the lights we kindle shine forth for the world to see. May they illumine our lives and fill us with gratitude for those who came before us, whose will and courage, time and again, kept the flame of faith from extinction.