At the time of HanukkahThe holiday which celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following its conquest by the Syrians in 165 BCE. The holiday is celebrated by lighting candles in a hanukiyah oon each of eight nights. Other customs include the eating of fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly donuts), playing dreidl (a gambling game with a spinning top), and, in present day America, gift giving., when we celebrate our right to express the Jewish religion openly, we need to be conscious of the rise of incidents in America which specifically seek to oppress and attack those for their identity and how they choose to express it.
In this ritual, for each night of Hanukkah, there is a description of a hate crime that has occurred since the 2016 presidential election as documented in the New York Times column “This Week in Hate.” There is also a discussion question to spark conversation about how to grapple with and respond to this moment in America, and to more deeply explore each of our own identities. Post a picture of your menorahThe seeven-branched menorah stood in the Temple, and many present-day synagogues feature the menorah. Titus' arch depicts the Romans' sacking of the Temple and theft of the menorah. A nine-branched menorah called a Hanukkiyah is lit on Hanukkah to symbolize the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days. on social media with the hashtags #rededicateagainsthate and #hanukkah5777 to show that the Jewish community is using this moment to stand up to the rise of hate in our society, and to show solidarity with other vulnerable groups. Invite others to join you in lighting the menorah and participating in these discussions.
Download the PDF below for the full discussion questions and more background, with advice for educators and parents. As you use this ritual each night of Hanukkah, we encourage you to consider the question: In this dark time, how will you create light in the world?
This PDF was created in partnership with Bend the Arc.