I consider myself a dedicated yet anxious Jewish mom. I’m dedicated because I would like my children to have a Jewish upbringing that connects them to our collective stories, history, and values – and I’m anxious because I’m never quite sure whether I’m accomplishing that goal.
Two blessings are chanted or recited every night of Hanukkah. The first is a blessing over the candles themselves. The second blessing expresses thanks for the miracle of deliverance. A third blessing—the Shehecheyanu prayer, marking all joyous occasions in Jewish life—is chanted or recited only on the first night.
In the early 1990s, Haifa instituted an annual cultural event, “Festival of Festivals,” to celebrate Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holidays falling during the winter season.
Every Hanukkah, we thank God for the miracle of the season. But what was the miracle? Simply this: The Maccabees and their legacy survived.
My sisters and I grew up in Central Maine, where my family was one of a small handful of Jewish families scattered in this remote, wooded corner of the diaspora.
Samuel E. Goldfarb penned “I Have a Little Dreidel”, while his older brother composed “Shalom Aleichem.” To use a Christian equivalent, it would be like having one brother write “Jingle Bells” and another compose “Silent Night.”
From a new audio version of "Hanukkah Bear" — a holiday favorite by National Jewish Book Award winner Eric A. Kimmel — to a novel for young teens set during the Festival of Lights, there is a fresh crop of Hanukkah books that are sure to delight young readers of all stripes.