Years ago I found an article in the Chicago Jewish News that laid out eight gifts for Chanukah, none of which cost a thing. I don’t know the author; I wish I did. But for at least a decade, our children have heard one of these every night, in no particular order. Sometimes it was the only gift they got, but even if there was something to unwrap, they got these gifts first. In the interest of changing times, community, and adult children, I have edited these slightly.
Tonight, the gift of JUDAISM
We give you Judaism, your own personal connection with the Source and Spirit of the World. This great gift includes spiritual strength, heritage, a strong moral code, and an incredible gift for survival. Judaism gives you inspiration, scholarship, protection, compassion, a way to live, and a people to belong to, wherever life takes you. We give you this gift, hoping like us, you will unwrap it throughout your life, and find new joys and questions, new ideas and old friends. Sometimes this gift gets complicated, and sometimes downright confusing. But we hope we are showing you how it may change in practice, not presence; how it continues to be a source within your soul.
Chag orim sameach; Happy Chanukah and Shabbat Shalom!