Rabbi Hugo Gryn used to tell of his experience in Auschwitz as a child. Food, of course, was scarce, and his fellow prisoners took care to preserve every scrap that came their way. When Hanukkah arrived, Hugo’s father took a lump of margarine and to the shock of young Hugo, he used it as fuel for the light to be lit at the festival. When he was asked why, his father replied, “We know that it is possible to live for three weeks without food, but without hope it is impossible to live properly for three minutes.”


The Rabbi’s story reminds me that in life there are concrete actions we can take to bolster hope. Whether it is giving sacrificially to a cause we believe deeply in; setting aside time each week for worship; or offering a few moments to pause in prayer, we gain clarity and perspective which open again the avenues for faith and hope to flourish even in the darkest of times.

Our prayer today is based on Psalm 130.

Let us pray:

Loving God, our souls wait for you and in your word, we hope. We trust that with you is steadfast love and that with you is the great power to redeem. As we engage in the rituals of our faith, as we give, and as we serve may our spirits be tuned to your Spirit. And may we be filled with an overwhelming sense of hope. Amen.

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