As we approach Hanukkah we look forward to lighting the candles of Hanukkah and singing the blessings together. Since Hanukkah is a holiday primarily celebrated at home, so we also wanted to provide you with resources for your use at home with friends and family.
May your holiday be bright with the celebration of the Festival of Lights!
“A thousand years are in Your sight as but a day. So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
The psalmist, the singer of praises, says, I know that in the face of eternity, what difference does it make if I live fifty year or eighty years or sixteen years – for a thousand years are in your sight as but a day.” But no! Teach us to number our days – to make each day count. Hanukkah gives us the chance to notice and count eight consecutive days – and to bless each one. Hanukkah, in the world of the West, has become a season of gifts.
We will gather, I hope, to light the candles of Hanukkah and sing the blessings. On the first night (as the first night of each festival), we will add a blessing for the ultimate gift, for the gift of life. Blessed are You, Source of the Universe, shehecheyanu, v’kiyimanu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh – who has kept us in life and sustained us and brought us to this moment.
There are ways to celebrate listed below. Feel free to mix and match and choose. Imbedded in them are links to music, to stories, to recipes, to children’s books and to articles.
The festival of Hanukkah always occurs as the moon is waning. The nights are already long at this time of year, and with the waning moon, they are also getting darker. The Jewish way is that as the dark increases, we light one more candle against the darkness.
Please let us know what was helpful to you here – and please share with us other ways that your Hanukkah celebrations increase the light and joy and meaning for you. Share your light!
With joy and gratitude,