Hanukkah Core Concept – LIGHT

Lighting the menorahCongrats to Jennifer K,  winner of the second Hanukkah Surprise Pack!

One thing she gets is a laminated card with Hanukkah Blessings and candle-lighting tips. Hold onto this quick-reference card for years. Never have to wonder again which way to load the candles (left to right? right to left?) (Available in Hanukkah Helper Box, Hanukkah in a Box and Hanukkah CD Tutorial.)  Still 6 nights to enter – just sign up at www.JewishHolidaysInABox.com.


Light – Where to start with young children

We recommend three key Hanukkah concepts that are good as starting points with young children: light, miracle, and oil.

This week, we’ll talk about the easiest concept to bring to life: light.

Just by kindling Hanukkah candles all eight nights of the holiday, you emphasize the “light” concept.  It’s also traditional to place the menorah in the window (facing the dark of the winter sky), showcasing the twinkling of the lit candles. To make this experience even more captivating – to get that hushed sense of awe – you can turn off the overhead lights in your room and watch the flames dance.

And you can have multiple menorahs – one for each person in the family.

Plenty of popular Hanukkah songs also talk about light, including “Light One Candle,” by Peter Paul and Mary.  So singing and/or playing that, along with classic melodies, is a nice tradition.

Does your family enjoy competitions? We seem to love them. A nice way to get everyone involved in the “light” idea is to gather around a computer or iPad and watch the Fountainheads video “Light Up the Night”  together.

See how many uses of light those who are playing can count — from fire to Hanukkah candles to a host of creative approaches. (I won’t give away any more, so that you can truly play, too!)

Or, if you’re playing with kids under 3 or 4, for whom counting high is a challenge, the first person who sees some kind of illumination can just shout out “light!”

(In our last competition, a 6-year-old won, by the way. So don’t assume that the parents will win.)

You can even go back and play again, watching for dreidels, doughnuts, and other Hanukkah symbols.

Many Hanukkah candles burn for about 30 minutes, so it’s a nice tradition to play games after the lighting each evening. Even on a school night, it doesn’t take up that much time.

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