Hanukkah: Let Freedom Ring
One of my first childhood memories of Jewish rituals was the lighting of the menorah. It made me aware of the richness of my heritage. Hanukkah is the holiday for adults and children together to reflect on the powerful gift of freedom through the journey of the Maccabees.
It wasn't just the presents, it was the lighting of the menorah and the table resplendent with potato latkes topped with sour cream and home-made applesauce. Then there was the connection with thousands of years of traditions and lessons on the preciousness of freedom with responsibility, as stated in America The Beautiful.
God shed His grace on thee,
Till selfish gain no longer strain
The banner of the free!
Many families have a tradition of sitting with the flames of the Hanukkah candles until they burn out. The Aleph-bet is the Hebrew A-Z. It includes everything. It is if you were staring into an all inclusive world, beginning to end. Just think where that thought could take a naturally inquisitive, creative child. And even if you are not physically with your family you can still observe the tradition on Zoom. In these days of social distancing, it is the way to sit together and think of the significance this joyous holiday holds, bringing us closer to the light individually and collectively.
I hope you find ways to create new rituals and share them with your family.