Sunday, December 2, 2012

There's No "December Dilemma" If You Adopt & Adapt This Hanukkah Custom From Gibraltar

I will admit that the phrase "December Dilemma" is new to me. It's the type of disconnect that happens after living 35 years in Israel. I first heard it two weeks ago from a friend in Rockville, Maryland, explaining how her synagogue's sisterhood invited a speaker to talk on the topic. My initial reaction was clever copywriting, but since that conversation I've seen the phrase appear in several articles.

Gift giving seems part and parcel of the "December Dilemma." Why feel that you have to keep up with the Christmas stocking? This year give the gift of light every night by adapting a Hanukkah custom from Gibraltar.  While it calls for lighting one Menorah using wicks and oil for the entire family, the best part is reciting a different phrase every night from Tehilim that connects with light.

How does this solve the "December Dilemma?" Here are my thoughts. Let kids earn their gifts. Turn them into Bible detectives and ask them to find a different source each night using the word light. Try this for a jump start: go to the book of Genesis and Let there be light.

Want an American connection as well? That's simple and it's even Jewish.

Our lady of liberty represents a guiding light to freedom -- a wonderful tie-in to the story of the Maccabees.

And what about the famous poem connected to the Statue of Liberty?
It may not actually use the word light, but the concept is embedded in its words. The Jewish connection? Emma Lazarus, of course. While today she is famous for her poem "The New Colossus," during her lifetime she was known for her work "Songs of a Semite." It was written after experiencing a reawakening of her Jewish heritage. Something to contemplate this year while "battling" the "December Dilemma".

Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah Candles Photo Credit
Statue of Liberty Photo Credit

1 comment: