Chanukah

Chanukah has long had a tradition of giving “gelt” (Yiddish for real, not chocolate, coins) to children. In America, this tradition became expanded into gift giving, undoubtedly influenced by the gifting associated with Christmas. While gift giving is not essential to Chanukah, it is a practice that many enjoy. Still, any time we receive, Jewish tradition teaches us to think about how we must also give. Our B’nai Mitzvah students learn that a portion of their monetary gifts goes to tzedakah. They make the practice their own by choosing a cause that is important to them. On Chanukah, a recent tradition is to make the 6th candle of Chanukah, a “Ner shel Tzedakah,” a night of giving rather than receiving. How can you make this Chanukah a time of giving? Find a cause that moves you and set aside extra funds for it tomorrow, as the 6th candle of Chanukah comes into view.