Decking the Halls {Part II- Hanukkah}

by Hannah

Yesterday, for the first time ever, our little family celebrated Hanukkah.
We lit the menorah, and we talked about the history of this holiday.
We said the blessings (I stumbled over the Hebrew words, and then said them in English), and we listened to Maoz Tzur.
Seth opened a small gift, and Manny and I ate chocolate coins.

This is a tradition I wanted to include in our annual holiday celebrations, for a few reasons.
First, my ancestors were Jewish. For the last few generations, they did not practice the religion, but I grew up knowing that my grandfather was at least ethnically Jewish (and he did go to Hebrew school as a child), and that I had some Jewish blood. It always meant a lot to me, because I understood the Judeo-Christian connection.
I also believe that the Hebrew roots of Christianity should be recognized and celebrated. The two are so very intertwined, and knowing the early history of these religions adds a new dimension to all of it.
Finally, I want my children to grow up experiencing various traditions and knowing the meaning behind them.

For my family, Hanukkah will be about recognizing diverse traditions, celebrating the light in the world, and praying for peace. {And also, celebrating my love for latkes… :)}

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