Happy Hanukkah from GADOL

Our office skills group at GADOL, our adult day program, is very excited to share their blog about Hanukkah! Team members spent time researching, collaborating and writing this piece together.

by Avi, Chuck, Ellie, Efraim, Jonah, Julie, Mike and Wendy

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that we celebrate for eight nights. It’s a very special holiday to all of us that features lots of fun traditions. The story of Hanukkah begins with The Temple being destroyed. Judah and the Maccabees cleaned the temple and found one can of oil that should have lasted one day but ended up lasting for eight days! This is a miracle that became how we celebrate Hanukkah today and why many people call it the Festival of Lights. It is a fun and important way for the Jewish people to remember our history and celebrate the holidays.

During Hanukkah we light the menorah for eight nights to represent the miracle of the oil lasting longer than it should have. We light the candles every night from left to right. After lighting the candles we watch them burn. Lighting the menorah helps us feel connected to G-d in a magical and deep way. It allows us to be mindful of what’s around us and those who are with us in spirit. It also represents our identity. 

Hanukkah has lots of traditions that we each celebrate differently. We eat delicious foods like sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts) and chocolate gelt, but our favorite Hanukkah food is definitely potato latkes. Some of us enjoy eating our latkes plain or with toppings such as applesauce, sugar, sour cream and cream cheese. We even would like to try new toppings like peanut butter, chocolate and strawberry jelly. 

Throughout Hanukkah we play dreidel and enjoy singing the dreidel song with it! The dreidel is a spinning top that has four sides. We play either with money or with gelt. You can play dreidel with friends or family. Sometimes people also get presents on Hanukkah. When we were kids, a lot of us got eight presents, one for each night of Hanukkah.

It is important to tell the story of Hanukkah to make sure future generations know our history. Hanukkah means many things to us: 

“Hanukkah means family.” – Jonah

“Hanukkah means to make sure we have enough candles every night.” – Avi

“Hanukkah means seeing family.” – Mike

“Hanukkah means being with friends and family.” – Julie

“Hanukkah means spending time with your family.” — Chuck

“Hanukkah means we light the menorah.” — Efraim

“Hanukkah means to me remembering how we got our Temple back.” – Wendy

Here at GADOL, we are having a Hanukkah party to celebrate. We are going to have a gift exchange and have Rabbi Herst share music with us. We hope you all have a very Happy Hanukkah!

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