My family, friends, and I wait eagerly each year to celebrate Chanukah. In our journey through life, the meaning of Chanukah expands with the passing of our days. For the little ones, it means toys and treats. As we grow older, its meaning grows deeper.
As I anticipate holding the shamash to light the first candle, I am reminded of the wonder that Chanukah brought to me as a child.
With the second candle, I think about my parents, the values they imparted to me, the support they gave, and the sacrifices they made to afford me the opportunities I have enjoyed.
With the third candle, I contemplate the saying, l’dor v’dor, as I experience the joy that Chanukah brings to my own children and to me, and the transmission of the bond of Jewish values, rituals, traditions, and history from generation to generation.
With the fourth candle, I consider how blessed my family, friends, and I are to live in the vibrant Jewish community that is Atlanta and feel grateful for the commitment and generosity of those who have helped make it so.
With the fifth candle, I focus on the midpoint of my personal journey from youth to old age and wonder how I may manifest my wide range of blessings to support a better life for one and all.
With the sixth candle, I give thanks to my forefathers and foremothers who came to this country and unfolded through their efforts the unparalleled opportunities I have enjoyed.
With the seventh candle, I ask G-d to bless the United States, its leaders, and our solid democratic institutions that promise life, liberty, and happiness for all.
And with the eighth candle, I thank G-d for the miracle of Israel that our ancestors longed for, and I pray for lasting and eternal peace through the four corners of the Earth.
Ray Alyssa Rothman is a commercial real estate veteran who also helps raise equity for investments. Her side business is Kibbitz & Konnect, a premier in-person social network for Atlanta’s Jewish singles community www.kibbitzkonnect.org