“Where are all the Hanukkah menorahs?”
When I see a Hanukkah menorah, I instantly point it out. Suddenly music starts playing in my head. I’m taken to a warm and cozy place. I can hear Adam Sandler on his guitar strumming that familiar tune. It might be version one or two; either one will do.
“Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights. Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights! When you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree, here is a list of people that are Jewish, just like you and me!”
And just like that, the song makes a lot of sense. A Hanukkah menorah in many ways is like Sandler’s song. It’s telling everyone who sees it they are not alone.
But still, so few people place menorahs in their windows.
I would love to see more menorahs in the windows of Boston. Over the past few years, I have been surprised to learn how many Jewish families live in my neighborhood. We’ve met through groups, swapping mail and walking our dogs. The surprising part is that every Hanukkah, I don’t see any menorahs in the windows. Reflecting on it now, I realize I also never put a menorah in my window.
Let’s change that this year!
Here are a few reasons I’m going to put a menorah in my window this Hanukkah:
Pride. People beam with pride when they see that little light flickering in the window. My menorah might make others feel they are not the only kid in town without a Christmas tree.
Inspiration. People might see my light and be inspired to do the same. Sometimes it takes just one menorah for others to feel comfortable putting a menorah in their window. Wouldn’t it be great if we see menorahs in windows like we see Christmas trees?
Acceptance. Jewish kids will point at it and say with pride, “Mommy, look, it’s a Hanukkah menorah!” They may not know who lives there, but they will feel connected to the community.
Mitzvot. The mitzvah of Hanukkah is showing the world by displaying flickering lights that you are proud to be Jewish and that you love your tradition.
Every night of these up-and-coming eight crazy nights, my wife and I plan to put a Hanukkah menorah in our window. I will post it on my Instagram account @gregordunn with the hashtag #windowsofhanukkah. If you are placing your menorah in your window, please share your picture and hashtag it too!
I hope to see more menorahs this year. Happy Hanukkah!
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