The first night of Hanukkah! What a joy to celebrate here in the Land. Joining with friends and family to remember the mighty miracles of our G-d. Always, so faithful to His covenant with Avraham, he rescues us not only from our enemies but more often from ourselves and our poor decisions! How great is His love.
There were activities already beginning before the first candles were lit. The local school children have each made a hanukiah to show at their school. This is one of the efforts. Notice the different types of Jewish people this child used in his Menorah.
As we drove through Jerusalem yesterday many menorahs were already placed outside people's front doors in preparation for the lighting last evening. We find it amazing that these glass boxes that house the hanukiah are left untouched. They are not stolen and as a rule are not bothered in any way. It gives one a warm holiday feeling to see the candles flickering in the night.
The lamps filled with oil, wicks trimmed and ready, children more than excited ~ all set for a meaningful time. As the blessings were said we were reminded again ;
"Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers in those days at this season." and "... Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season." Amen!
Yesterday's preparations made way for lots of good food, happy hearts and a fun time together. We made a trip to the English Bakery and purchased what we thought would be too many sufganiyot. Jelly with powered sugar, chocolate filled with sprinkles, strawberry iced and of course coconut topping. By the end of the evening there weren't too many left. After all~ who can eat just one? And of course we had far too many potato latkes with sour cream. We figure that there are really no calories during celebrations.
Enjoy your Hanukkah, dear friends. Next Year in Jerusalem!