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 twenty five years, 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. I have begun re-writing them somewhat, after all these years, with adult children and a changing community and world.
It’s also Shabbat, and we are blessed with more lights of joy and peace to light the night.
Tonight, the gift of SECURITY
Well, at least as much security as we can give you. Physical security is no longer guaranteed in this world; violence is random and raging. But we send you into the world with a deep personal security of who you are. Your true, long range security has to come from within yourselves, from being and becoming trustworthy. Meanwhile, we will do all we can to give you the foundation of composure, of knowing without question that you are able to do good things in the world. We are proud of your innate abilities, your goodness, and your good sense, and of your willingness to try. You do not need to compete, or to follow the crowd to gain self-esteem, because you already have, from us, and from within yourself, the seeds of true confidence. Just nurture them.
Chag orim sameach; Happy Chanukah!