Today’s home school lesson is brought to you by the number 8. The more we know about our neighbors, the more we will and can find things to love about our neighbors. The better the human race will be. Education will light the way for all of us.
The reason for the Hanukkah lights is not for the “lighting of the house within”, but rather for the “illumination of the house without,” so that passersby should see it and be reminded of the holiday’s miracle (i.e. the triumph of the few over the many and of the pure over the impure). Accordingly, lamps are set up at a prominent window or near the door leading to the street.
I am thankful for and like the idea of sharing the light with others. I really like the idea of a simple candle being a reminder to all. “this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…”
One year, when I was in charge of our church’s Vacation Bible School, the powers that be in the Oklahoma, Methodist, VBS committee decided that all the children across the Methodist land that year should learn about our Jewish neighbors. So our snacks were Kosher, we made & played with dreidels, and learned all about different Jewish customs & holidays.
It was then that I learned a couple of things. 1. It is shocking how many “good” Methodist had a “problem” with teaching our children, with fun and happiness about the Jewish customs. The phone never stopped ringing the entire week. 2. It was a week in our family, I will never forget. Both our boys came down with chicken pox on day one of the week. So, they did not attend said Vacation Bible School & Mr. Right had to take the week off to take care of young sick boys, because I was “working” at the church that week. They ended up feeling okay and went on a camping trip, near the end of the week, to the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado. All that playing and walking in the sand, rubbed their feet perfectly clean and smooth. No sight of a chicken pox anywhere.
We had 79 little darlings attending and of course oodles of volunteers. I am not a fan of meetings (committee meetings that last an hour are NOT helpful nor are they good for the soul), so we had a mandatory volunteer, teacher, cook, craft people, meeting each day, prior to start time. No chairs, no closed doors, and it would last a total of 10 minutes. period and done and I even set a kitchen timer (this was way before cell phones with built-in timers). That was including the prayer we said to remind us to be kind and loving to each child throughout the day. As the week wore on, the prayer time became longer and longer and the meeting housekeeping, less and less. haha
I too, learned many Jewish customs that week. I am curious and interested. Today, I continue that curiosity and I follow a Rabbi’s blog. It makes me happy. I also enjoy reading thoughts from his wife Susan. They are a couple from the Seattle area and have kiddos and figure out a way to weave their beliefs into their daily lives. http://www.rabbidaniellapin.com/ask_rabbi.php
Fried foods such as Latke (potato pancakes) and jelly donuts are eaten to commemorate the importance of oil during the celebration. Not only are potato pancakes on my top five favorite foods of all time……………they are eaten to commemorate the importance of the celebration! A tradition I can most certainly get on board with.
So today, in my own Methodist way, I celebrate my Jewish brothers and sisters. I hid a funny, pun, Hanukkah card inside Mr. Right’s lunch container. He will light candles at dinner this evening and you just know I am serving Potato Pancakes for our main dish. With fresh apple sauce on the side.
May you be bathed in the Grace of pure light for the next eight days.
Happy Hanukkah my Friends, Happy Hanukkah!