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.
Tonight, the gift of KNOWLEDGE
This includes both schooling and street smarts, and also self-knowledge. This house is full of books, and the give and take of active debate. We read. You read. You take classes, so do we. But it also includes the music, the museums, the dance and the theater, the family trips and the Shabbatons. It includes self-reflection. It’s the richness of every experience, from camping (a little!) to hammering (a little!) , baking, doing your own laundry, giving tzedakah and d’vrei Torah. We are filling your minds all the time, even when you don’t know it, even when we don’t know it. This gift you can keep giving yourself all the rest of your life.
Chag orim sameach; Happy Chanukah!