Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah and I have learned not to let the gift-giving and commercialization infect the true meaning of the holiday. I’ve been talking to my kids about the historical meaning of the holiday, but tonight I will be talking about the religious/spiritual aspects of Hanukkah. It’s not about gifts, it’s about dedication to being the light to the nations, to the people of the world, to dispel the rampant darkness we see around us. 

The miracle of the lights was that Jews had enough oil for one night only and they lit it, this was us saying, “We see you Hashem and we love you.” The other seven nights that the oil lasted was G-d saying, “I see you too, and I love you.” You see, we aren’t lighting the menorah/Hanukiah just physically, but we’re lighting the menorah in our hearts and in our souls, to be better, to do better, and to surrender over to Hashem that which is our all. 

The miracle of Hanukkah isn’t just that the oil of one night lasted eight nights, it’s that in spite of the struggles and attempts to wipe out the Jewish people, their light still shines thousands of years on. Although Hanukkah is considered a minor holiday in Judaism, its message is a major one that needs to grow to spread the light and love of Hashem. 

 

 

Chag Hannukah Sameach!!!

My family’s first night of Hannukah was a rousing success and so much fun for all six of us. My daughters both said “BEST DAY EVER!” and my sons can’t wait for more Hanukah celebrations to come in the next 7 nights. We have a Hannukah room set up in our house that’s decked out with the main table, banners all over, and games. Oh, and speaking of games, my wife is a Dreidel hustler, she only got Shin 1 time the whole game and cleaned us all out. The game of Dreidel was so loud I thought the cops were going to be called lol

So many fried cheese bits and latkes were eaten and sufganiyot had to be saved for tomorrow night’s festivities because everyone ate so much tonight. This first night, the kids each got large themed popits, a dinosaur, among us, and unicorns, my wife got a box of metal puzzles and I got an authentic Swiss army knife. 

Our Mensch on a bench “Moshe,” can be seen just chillin’ in the picture, keeping the electric Hannukiah going (We had to blow out the real one after. 

And Sam (my wife) and I both got Yair Immanuel artisan Dreidels to commemorate our first Hannukah and they are beautiful moments of this beautiful festival of lights. I got to teach my kids the meaning and history of Hannukah and let them know about the Maccabees and the miracle of the lamp’s oil. I added, “Just as the night way back when we lit the candle the first night to tell Hashem we see him and are thankful, he lights the rest (metaphorically) to say he sees us too.”