Every Jewish holiday has special prayers associated with it. Usually the prayers are added to the section of the worship service known as the Amidah—that’s the middle part of the service. Hanukkah, however, is different.
The special Hanukkah readings are added to the prayer of thanksgiving, known as the Hoda-ot.
In linking Hanukkah and thanksgiving, the Jewish sages conveyed several important message. The first, as discussed earlier in the week, is to express gratitude for the miracle God performed 2000 years ago.
The second is more subtle. Gratitude requires openness, and prayer is a way of opening up our souls. If we are not open to God’s presence during prayer, how can we open to God’s miracles in everyday life? Hanukkah reminds us to open up our spirits.
Miracles do not only depend on God. They also depend on us.