Hanukkah is a time for families to gather and a chance to commemorate how the human spirit can overcome obstacles and find light in the dark. Aside from delicious meals, the eight-day celebration also includes a good amount of fun and joy and here are 8 easy ways for you to give love and light for the 8 days of Hanukkah.
What is Hanukkah and How it is Celebrated?
Hanukkah, which means “dedication,” is observed to commemorate the Jewish resistance to the Seleucids and their eventual victory as well as the miracle of lights that occurred when the Jews recaptured their temple. As a result, Hanukkah is a multi-day festival that commemorates both the events that took place after the Maccabees reclaimed their temple and the history and heritage of Judaism. This entails 8 nights of festivities, candle lighting, and scrumptious traditional meals like latkes and challah for many Southern Jewish households. It often also entails 8 nights of gift giving. To make these 8 nights memorable, here are some simple ideas to help spread the light and love through this Hanukkah.
8 Easy Ways to Give Love and Light for 8 Days of Hanukkah
A Night of Family History
Invite your friends and family to join you for candle lighting one Hanukkah night. Make sure to bring a tape recorder or a camera. Ask each person to tell a story about a member of the family who is no longer alive or share their own story with the rest of the people. This may be done every year to create a treasure of precious family memories. Give copies of the previous year’s DVD as Hanukkah presents to those who attended as well as to absent family members the next year.
Have a check-in with yourself or your family one night
Ask yourself and your family how you feel spiritually. How are the standards of the greater society hurting us? How can we commit to maintaining our spiritual vitality? Make a list of fun and practical solutions for your family’s more vibrant, spiritual lifestyle and ways to share this with others.
Read Books On The Subject Of Light Either Alone Or With Guests
Collect everything you can think of, including poetry and works that light up the world. You can do it alone or with a company. Ask each guest to bring a memento, a poem, an idea, or anything else that has made their lives more enjoyable by adding light. They could bring it along to share, demonstrate, or trade with someone else so they can see light in a different way! For instance, you can send a kaleidoscope, a lovely suncatcher, a poem about light, or a solar flashlight – yes they do exist!
Everyone brings something related to the contemporary Maccabees and their nation of Israel at this point. The news articleswould cover both fantastic and difficult events occurring in or relating to Israel. After a lengthy conversation, let everyone share what they brought and choose how to bless it.For instance, a proposal to demolish the mosque on the Temple Mount is discussed in some articles. That particular night, the guests can determine that a blessing would be to pray for the people who wanted to center this conversation about how to share holy space. Another item discusses the seeds for novel, high-protein meals created by Israeli researchers that may aid in feeding the hungry in Ethiopia and other underdeveloped countries. Your wish can be for each seed’s energy to spread the light of our love across the world.
Donate Money from Your tzedakah Boxes
Open all of the tzedakah (charity collecting) boxes in the home on one of the Hanukkah evenings, count the money inside, and then donate to a good cause.My coworker has a tzedakah box beside his desk at work, and both Jews and non-Jews who are interested in mitzvot contribute to keeping it full. My neighbour taught me a nice custom: before lighting the Shabbat candles, you empty your pockets of any coins and place them in a tzedakah box. (His family kept their “Shabbos box,” where they also put their wallets and keys to be picked up when Shabbat was over.) When everyone in a home contributes in this way, the tzedakah boxes fill up quickly.
Choose a Charity to Donate
Choose the worthy charities to which you will donate on another Hanukkah night. Ask each participant to bring a newspaper article about a charity they feel needs money most urgently. Additionally, each participant has three blank checks with them. Have each person discuss their cause and justifications. Have each participant write out their checks in privacy for the causes they feel are most essential to providing light to on this Hanukkah night, in the amount of their choosing. On the last night of Hanukkah, groups of families who are participating in the tzedakah box collecting mentioned earlier in this list may get together to distribute the donations to the organizations selected that night.
Brighten Someone’s Life
Bring your menorah there to be lit. Locate a shelter for abused women, the homeless, the elderly, etc. Carefully listen to the Torah of another person’s life. Invite each person to light a candle and share their most cherished moment of light in their life or their greatest wishes for the future. Using funds from the tzedakah box as described above, you can purchase necessary personal items and bring them with you to help ease the financial burden this season.
Silently Watch the Candles Burn
Silently watching the candles burn has been a long-standing Jewish meditation practice that dates back to the Talmudic era. Observe the menorah loosely and enjoy the moments of pure light. Even after the last flame has sizzled and gone out, pay attention to what arises for you. During the 8 nights of light, reflect on your personal and spiritual giving and receiving.
Wrapping it Up
It’s a festival of lights and the celebration of a miracle. Hanukkah serves as an especially striking reminder that despite difficulties, great things are possible. Enjoy the 8 nights of light and love and share the joy of the season with family and friends.
Tell us about your favourite family celebration traditions – we’d love to hear them! However you wish to celebrate this Hanukkah, be sure to spread love and cheer and give more than you take.
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