Hanukkah is light in a dark year

Hanukkah, a communal celebration of the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem, is getting a reboot in this year of the coronavirus.

The eight-day holiday, Dec. 10-18 on this year’s Gregorian calendar, is traditionally a time to be together, eat, play games and light candles, one each day.

Hanukkah menorah

By Daniel Dimitrov – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

But COVID-19 is changing that for some families, just as it is changing other holidays.

My Jewish Learning offers ways to keep traditions alive while moving them online or outdoors. The candles in the menorah can be a centerpiece for outside activities, warmed up with a fire pit or bonfire. Of course, snacks will be individually wrapped and shared with socially distant spacing.

Zoom can be used for virtual games of spinning the dreidel and, yes, there are apps for that.

Of course, the idea behind the new ways of celebrating community are to keep everyone — and the traditions — going for next Hanukkah.

Photo by Daniel Dimitrov – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

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