Shabbat Message By Cathy Swerdlow

Shabbat Message
By Cathy Swerdlow
WLCJ Florida Region President

Recently, my Sisterhood took a bus trip to St. Petersburg, and we had the pleasure of visiting the Morean Arts Center, where we had a docent tour of the Chihuly Glass exhibit. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see these glassworks in person, I highly recommend it. They are breathtaking.

While the docent was explaining Chihuly’s process, one comment stood out to me. She explained that some of the pieces were shaped due to the natural consequence of gravity acting upon the very hot glass. The result of that action gave many of the pieces the look of objects that are found naturally in our environment. Part of why his works are often displayed outdoors, as well as in galleries, is the idea that his art is one with nature.

At the glassblower demonstration, the point was made that glass is infinitely recyclable. When you recycle glass, nothing is lost in the process – it is 100% recyclable and can be formed, used, melted, and used again forever. It’s like the oil in our Chanukah story – it is not used up!

This year, as we gather with friends and family in celebration of the Re-Dedication that is at the core of Hanukkah, let us also re-dedicate ourselves to protecting our environment. Reduce, reuse and recycle to lessen what is taken from our Earth in the course of our daily lives. Often, we think, “I am only one person…how much impact could I have?” But, just as these magnificent works by Chihuly are comprised on many individual pieces, so too can our individual actions band together for household, community, and world-wide effect.

Let’s start 2020 with a clear vision of how our actions can impact the world!

Happy Hanukkah and Shabbat Shalom!