Hanukah (Chanukah? Hannukah? Hanukkah)? Whatever works for you! It is a holiday that brings light at the darkest time of the year. During its eight nights, a pool of light creates a moment out of time where a family can stop and take a few minutes to spin the dreidel, munch on latkes and share gifts. I find that each night takes on a character all its own. The first night, with its single candle, signals the start, the hope. There are nights for extended family celebrations, some families set aside a night for family game night, many families designate one night for tzedakah projects. Some nights the whole family isn’t together and the night is a little less festive but the lights are still there, shining.
The glow of the lights against the dark winter night always reminds me that the real point of Hanukah (that’s the spelling I’m going with, by the way) is to celebrate the triumph of right over might. To remember that even when things are the darkest, that we have to be willing to be the one to light the lights, to stand up for what we believe in. This sounds like a very idealistic notion, but there are battles we face today where we are needed, where our voice will make a difference. Go to www.ujcnj.org/crc to learn more about actions you can take to make sure that the lights still shine. And be sure to take a look at out wonderful Hanukah video at www.ujcnj.org for more ways to make Hanukah more spiritual, meaningful, and beautiful!