Page 25 - Scene Magazine 41-12 December 2016
P. 25

 So, I am honoring him by sharing the light he brought to this world during the eight day period known as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of Jewish people over religious persecution in 168 B.C.E. Sadly, this issue continues to haunt myriad cultures planet-wide. But we always have the hope that we can overcome this modern day plague.
During Hanukkah - I will eat potato pancakes (latkes), teach someone how to play dreidel (a spinning top game), dance the hora (a sort of group line/circle dance), and spark the shamash (the helper candle) – using it to illuminate the first of eight candles, adding a candle per day till all are lit while saying (along with additional prayers):
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, asher kidshanu bmitzvotav vtsivanu lhadlik ner shel Hanukkah.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.
As I set aglow my beautiful non- traditional Menorah – showing a row of
Light – Day Two: Enjoy Family. He told me how much he liked being a parent at every stage of my life... baby, toddler, youth, teen and college student, young professional, and middle-aged woman. Even on the days it was challenging. As a grandfather for the last decade, he appreciated his grandkid’s giggles, experiments, games, and singing. He was a great Dad, good son, brother, son-in-law, uncle, cousin, and nephew too.
Light – Day Three: Value Work. He got a kick out of it, whether his professional work, yard work, or tinkering around the garage work. He was an honest, personable, knowledgeable employee, colleague, and boss as well as good provider. He believed everyone’s job was important. Work at all levels was to be respected.
Light – Day Four: Be Curious. He wanted data, details, and options. He asked questions like crazy. He wanted to understand things. He believed... it’s okay to have opinions, but back them up. If we all were to demonstrate curiosity, not judgment, what a difference it would make.
miss this utmost.
Light – Day Eight: Like. Love. Take
interest in those around you. Care about animals, strangers, neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family. He did this best of all.
Though Hanukkah is better known than most other Jewish holidays because it falls around Christmas time, it is actually a minor holiday in the rich tapestry of Jewish history.
Yet, when I think of the historic and current struggles, achievements and beauty of diverse families of Jews here and around the globe, gathering annually to ignite these candles which have been lit throughout the ages, its impact is major.
As I recite our holiday prayers and recount our blessings, for 2016 especially... I will treasure the warmth of connecting to generations past, present and future. As many people also bask in memories of those with significance to them, I take comfort in knowing that my Dad’s thoughts and practices – lights to those around him – and the traditions of Hanukkah, are lights that still travel. ■
Honorable Mention
A True Story By Michelle Frank Lights That Still Travel
  His fingers passed rapidly through the children holding hands, a cherished gift Light – Day Five: Revel in Water. He eight flames. Our tiny mouths gaped open. from my parents obtained on a trip to Israel took us to play in mud puddles, sprinklers We gasped as he ran his fingers one more – I will think of each flame in terms of its and pools, to build snowmen, sled, splash, time, through the raindrop-sized fire atop legacy of light from my Dad. swim, float, boat, waterski, and ice skate. each candle on the menorah – the shiny Light – Day One: Commit. Dad Light – Day Six: Believe Birthdays candelabrum that is part of celebrating the and Mom showed what marriage vows, Are Just a Number. Try new. Keep Jewish holiday of Hanukkah – Hebrew for through thick and thin and in sickness and learning. Persist in trying. Adapt. His “dedication.” He was magic... nothing in health, really meant. He always said mantra... “Do something!” He modeled happened to his fingers! in a matter of fact tone, that she was his this till his demise.
“He” is my Dad. Decades have zoomed best friend. They were together since she Light – Day Seven: Listen. It is an art by since that particular bit of enchantment. was fourteen and he was sixteen and were form, one which he perfected. He knew and He’s gone now. This is my first Hanukkah married for 53 years... so happily, it was remembered my stories, woes, victories, in 49 journeys around the sun, without him. for a long time! and questions. It made me feel important. I
Scene Magazine’s Annual Christmas Story Contest
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