My First Menorah
My immediate family are Episcopalians (as I was raised). The daughter of my heart says she’s “pretty much an atheist.” The son of my heart is Jewish. I am none of these, and have no holidays that correspond with my rather inchoate beliefs, so I have, since the death of our mother, celebrated Christmas (and sometimes Easter) with my brother who lives nearby and his family.
But over the last few years my son Joey’s Jewish faith has become more important to him, and what matters to him becomes important to me. I had been looking for a menorah but hadn’t found one I liked; then last year he sent me a small pixie-ish menorah for Hanukkah. That settled it. This year I would celebrate this winter holiday with him and his family from afar.
Hanukkah is not an important holiday – it just gets extra press because people feel like Jews ought to get some attention at this time of year, too. But it is the first Jewish holiday this year that I’ve been able to celebrate. It’s not that I am converting to Judaism. I am honoring my son’s faith. I hope to celebrate the much more important Passover with him in person next year.
As I said on Facebook earlier today, “It will be odd to celebrate a religious holiday alone when I have never even done it before. But because one of the children of my heart takes his Jewish faith seriously, it is important to me to celebrate as I know he is doing so far away. I have no religious holidays of my own, so those of my family become important.” Continue reading