If we’re being honest, Chanukah never falls late or early, it’s always right on time: The 25th of Kislev. Obviously very few of us look at the Hebrew calendar before we look at our Gregorian calendars each morning. As such, you may have noticed that Chanukah doesn’t begin this year until December 22nd and the chance to celebrate as a synagogue community dramatically decreases, as many in our community (including some clergy!) will be out of town visiting friends or family for the Winter Vacation.
What will we do about wearing our ugly Chanukah sweaters or seeing Rabbi Max, Rabbi Spike, and Cantor Adesnik in their ridiculous Chanukah onesies? How will our Tots rock out at a Tot Shabbat singing about their favorite sufganiyot (donuts)? When will our teens get the chance to have their annual gift exchange and eat Loretta’s famous latkes?
It’s not that we will be celebrating Chanukah early; instead, we’re going to recognize that since we most likely won’t get the chance to all be together on the actual holiday, that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for the holiday with our synagogue community.
There’s certainly no prohibition on singing Chanukah songs before the week of Chanukah (let’s be real, some stores have been playing Christmas music since November 1st or eating latkes before we light up our chanukiyot.
The best part about preparing to celebrate Chanukah is that it is an amazing opportunity for our youth (and adults) to practice the songs they haven’t sung in a few months, remember the sweet taste of the sufganiyot they don’t get to eat every week, and to dig the fryers out of the back of our pantries for latke season.
As we prepare for Chanukah this year, please add a little light to your lives and join us for our upcoming events! There’s a little something for everyone:
Wishing everyone a safe and meaningful Thanksgiving and may your preparations for Chanukah be sweet!