At a rabbinic retreat, my colleagues and I were charged to bring an item that inspired us as rabbis. Some brought copies of old sermons or summer camp memories. I was only one of two who chose to bring a picture of their family.
Growing up, I was blessed to have a full Jewish childhood. My parents squeezed blood from a stone so that I could attend Jewish summer camp, day school and youth group conventions. To further their investment, they constantly reinforced what we learned at home. We celebrated Shabbat, the holidays and attended synagogue.
Rabbi Ed Feinstein once wrote that when a young couple stands under the chuppah, they make the transition from becoming descendants to ancestors. For me, that moment happened on the car ride home from the hospital with our newborn son. As I turned into my driveway, it dawned on me that the free ride of taking had come to an end. It was now my turn to make sure that my children had the same wonderful opportunities that I had.
What ignites the light for me this Chanukkah? It is the responsibility of having been made an ancestor: from Abraham and Sarah to the Maccabees to Jay and Cheryl Dorsch, to Amy and me.
Watching my children grow Jewishly overflows my cup with joy each and every day.
Daniel Dorsch is the senior rabbi at Congregation Etz Chaim, and a member of the board at Jewish Family & Career Services of Atlanta.