As much time as my family spends running every weekday – to baseball practice, Hebrew lessons, board meetings, book club – on Jewish holidays we all stop to breathe and relax at home. The kids put a pause on sibling rivalry, if only for a few minutes. My husband and I put a pause on social media and work emails, if only for a few minutes.
While one child sets the table, another climbs up into the cabinet to find the menorahs. One menorah from my childhood is a little wobbly and full of wax from last year’s candles. One menorah is made of colorful Lego blocks. Another is large and too awkward for standard menorah candles. We debate whether or not we can remember all of the blessings, and finally look them up in a book.
This different kind of hubbub is at my table. It’s not the buzz of boys talking strategy on the way to a field or my oldest reciting Hebrew as we pull into synagogue.
It’s their voices, singing prayers. Their little hands, fumbling with candles. Their faces, lit by glowing candlelight.
To me, Chanukah is the bliss of being a parent of Jewish children.
Logan C. Ritchie is the mom of three children and staff writer of the AJT.