The Lighting of the Candles

For the last couple of weeks, I have thought much of what I wanted to write for this holiday season.  I thought of what I wanted to say and nothing really came to me till right now.  Since I celebrate both holidays, and am Jewish, I began reflecting.  I reflected on the here and now, and also the past.  Additionally, I reflected on when I was a little girl, and how I use to love celebrating Chanukah.  For some reason, lighting the candles brought me much peace.

Not only because there was something about the candles being lit that memorized me.  But because of the prayers being said during the lighting, and my grandma teaching me in Hebrew what the prayers meant.   It gave me a sense of my heritage and who I was.  It made me have a sense of pride and dignity. It made me feel good about myself.  It also made me wonder of all those many, thousands of years ago, and what all my people before me went through.

I thought about the story of the candles.  I thought about how my people thought they would only have enough oil to last for one night. The miracle of the story was that the oil burned for eight days and eight nights.  I guess you could say wow, huh!  Its a beautiful story.  It’s a story I will always cherish.

Although, I also remember as a little girl wanting to have a Christmas tree too.  I remember during the holiday season,  my elementary school  would bring in the Booster Club, and the Shriners; as they would put on a huge Christmas gala for the children.

Although, my Mama Katie would sweetly remind me of my up-bringing, tradition, and customs.  She and my grandma both would teach me about my legacy, my roots, and my background.  They would speak in both Jewish and English to my sister and me.  While we don’t speak it ourselves, my sister and I still understand the language and speak somewhat at time..

I guess you could say I have been blessed.  Now I have the best of both worlds.  21 years ago, I married into a catholic family, of German decent. They not only speak their German dialect, but I understand a lot of what they are saying because of my mother and grandmother speaking it fluently in our house-hold.  I also get to celebrate both holidays, now.  I put up not only my dreidal an menorah, but I put up the most beautiful Christmas tree and decorations you could think of.  I am not only reminded of the days long ago as the lyrics ring out in the Chanukah song.  But I am reminded of who I am, how I want to share my gift of light, the light that shins forth from my being, and, I am reminded daily, that the gift of giving is not just one day out of the year.  It is every day of the year.  It is the hope and belief  to carry on.

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