A Chanukah Message from Chana Shapiro
For our annual Chanukah issue, we asked members of our community to share why they think it is so important for our Jewish community to, "Shine Our Light Bold and Bright."
Chana Shapiro is an educator, writer, editor and illustrator whose work has appeared in journals, newspapers and magazines. She is a regular contributor to the AJT.
Put Your Chanukah Menorah in the Window
There is a custom to place one’s Chanukah menorah in one’s window or in a weatherproof spot outside of one’s home, either one which can be seen from the street. This is a public declaration that Jewish people reside within.
It’s easy to believe that, amidst the growing antisemitism all around us, Jews might be better off keeping a low profile by not proclaiming their Judaism quite so openly. I disagree. The public display of Jewish identity, that we connect with our heritage, that we are all one people, regardless of our differences or denomination, is to be celebrated, and the Chanukah menorah shining in one’s window is a non-confrontational way to exhibit Jewish connection and pride.
What more powerful message can there be than “inside this home dwells a proud Jewish family?” Yes, there is the mezuzah on your doorpost, but is it visible to passers-by? The Chanukah lights are! We witness powerful examples of gay pride and Black pride. Let’s show our Jewish pride.
Chana Shapiro is an Atlanta educator, author, and illustrator.