Hanukkah: A Reminder of Miracles, Hope, Faith and Love

Written by: Amie Baker, JFS Older Adults Program Manager

Hanukkah has always been a fun holiday for me, like most Jewish kids. After all, it does not require a visit to synagogue, and you get lots of gifts. There is also the added bonus of latkes, donuts, and chocolate gelt!

The memories I have of Hanukkah as a child are of lighting the candles together and singing the prayers. Everyone got a gift each night, and yes, socks were often given. (I mean it is 8 days after all). I remember trying to buy my parents the least expensive, best gift I could think of at the mall. This usually consisted of little glass animals for my mom and a Snoopy tie for my dad.

Amie’s son, Ethan, in 2012.

As a grown-up on my own, I did not really observe the holiday with much energy. Most years I lit a menorah once maybe during Hanukkah, and rarely did I even have a latke. But when I got married the tradition was revived, and when our son was born, we went into overdrive! As members of the JCC, we enjoyed many kid-friendly programs around all the Jewish holidays. Our son, Ethan, has always loved the lighting of the candles. Of course, the gifts are great too. I do think the latkes are his favorite and he has even been known to eat them cold. This year will be his 14th Hanukkah, just six months after his Bar Mitzvah. The time has passed so quickly!

Each year it fills my heart that we continue this tradition in our small family and remember that we are observing this miracle with Jews all around the world. Today, believing in miracles is so important. Let this Hanukkah remind you of miracles, hope, faith and love.