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Chanukah - The Festival of Lights

Chanukah is a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, but it takes place in the same month as Christmas, and so it gets bumped up in its importance to the outside world due to timing.  It isn't that there aren't beautiful ideas that can be gleaned from Chanukah. There are lots of concepts to discuss - such as bringing Light into the world, what Freedom really means, and whether miracles really happen.

In years past, I have been intentional about studying each night of Chanukah, preparing themes to discuss with the children, and making sure we are not engaging in commercialism.  One night we usually count the tzedakah from all year that we contributed before lighting candles on Shabbat, and then chose where we wanted to donate it.  This year, it sprung up on me, and to a degree, I engaged in a full-fledged commercialization of Chanukah. It was a little bit of Keeping Up with the Joneses (or the children's father) and a little bit guilt for putting the children through divorce…

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