8 ways to light up your life at Hanukkah


Hanukkah celebrates an ancient Jewish victory and the rededication of the Second Temple through the miracle of a small amount of oil that burned continuously for eight days. Here are eight ways to bring your “light” to Hanukkah:

Honor the meaning of the holiday. This is a great time to honor our Jewish history. As you read the story of the miracle, think of and give thanks for other miracles ha-Shem has brought to our people.

Write something special for your family. Make up a jingle or poem, or send a letter to your children, grandchildren and close relatives who celebrate Hanukkah and celebrate them. It will bring them joy and be remembered for years. 

Make a list of eight intangible gifts you can give to others. These “gifts” could be,  for example, kindness, compassion, openness and generosity. Give one or more of these gifts to your family and friends at Hanukkah.

Do eight mitzvot. You can create miracles in the lives of others by finding ways to help. As you light eight candles, find eight ways to light up someone’s life – or light up the life of eight people. It could be through a note, a handmade gift, doing a chore for them, or just giving them your listening ear.

Set an example. Teach others what you are learning and need to learn. The principles of Judaism are rich and deep; share at least eight of them with others during Hanukkah … and all year long.

Make latkes!  If you don’t like to peel potatoes or cook, get some help: Have a latke party, where several people bring the potato pancakes and you supply the toppings.  

Practice self-care during this busy time. Take time to exercise, learn something new or practice a new skill, and do something that brings you joy. When your cup of joy is filled, it’s much easier to bring joy to others.

Make a personal eight-miracle list. Think about last Hanukkah and eight miracles that have come into your life since then. It could be the birth of a child or grandchild, or even a big favor someone did for you.

PATRICIA RASKIN, president of Raskin Resources Productions Inc., is an award-winning radio producer and Rhode Island business owner. She is the host of “The Patricia Raskin Show,” a radio and podcast coach, and a board member of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.