Dec 14, 2011

Hannukah: Free to Be Who You Are

There is an interesting piece today over at Raising Kvell by Jordana Horn. The gist of the piece is that a family cannot celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas in deeply meaningful ways simultaneously. Horn prefaces the piece with a disclaimer that she knows that the piece might elicit strong feelings in readers. She underscores a really interesting point: "The Maccabees would rather die than observe any religion other than their own – they recognized that they would and could not be anything other than who they were, Jews. And it is that determination to be who we are and no one else that is what we are celebrating when we celebrate Hanukkah."

In the Kar-Ben book All About Hanukkah, there is a section called Free to Be that gives questions and ideas for families to think about and discuss while the Hanukkah candles are burning:
  • Trace you family's geography. Were there times when they emigrated in search of freedom?
  • Hanukkah was a struggle for spiritual freedom; Purim was a struggle for physical survival. How are they different?
  • Some families light an extra menorah to recall Jews living in poverty, and hunger who cannot celebrate Hanukkah.
by Judyth Groner and Madeline Wikler
illustrated by Kinny Kreiswirth

The story of Hanukkah complete with candle blessings, rules for playing dreidel and other games, recipes, songs, and thoughts on miracles, giving, and more.
“…recommended not only for students beginning to learn about the holidays, but also for teachers and parents to use as guidelines for teaching children who have not yet been exposed to the holidays in depth. Any synagogue or day-school will benefit from adding these titles to their collections.” –Association of Jewish Libraries  Buy your copy today

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