Yesterday we lit up the last candle on the Chanukiah and I have to admit that this week was a lot of fun. Even yesterday on a rainy day when we watched the Rabbi and his trying to light up the last candle on a square in Düsseldorf. They parked the manlift not properly under the five metre high Chanukiah and he was not able to reach the last candle. After a few minutes, while the singer was singing the song for the ceremony several times, all decided to take the Chanukiah and push it a metre to the Rabbi. In that moment I was absolutely sure it would fall, but by a miracle it still stood. Afterwards I heard that they are playing this game every year.
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After that we heard a speech of the mayor of Düsseldorf. It was a speech about tolerance, but nothing you would not expect, so quite boring and then it was time for eating again, but surprisingly not latkes but doughnuts. So I got to a booth to take a doughnut for Alex and me and all the older people next to me took out their plastic bags to take a few more then necessary. All in all quite funny, but what have I learnt so far? What makes Chanukah, Chanukah?
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In my experience it is very important, maybe the most important point, that you don’t celebrate alone with your family the eight days. You should go out and celebrate with your friends as well, especially those which are close to you. Chanukah is mostly, but not only a family event. You celebrate the rededication of a temple and it appeals to all people. The celebration lasts for eight days, because of the wonder that the oil, which should have only lasted for one day, lasted for eight days. And because of that you are obliged to serve and eat oily dishes like latkes and doughnuts in such an amount, that you don’t want to eat it anymore for a whole year. Some say you don’t have to, but you have to (believe me). You should not forget to play dreidel. It is a nice little game and if you play it with new people, you immediately understand their characters.
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But in the end you celebrate it for one reason. The same reason you always celebrate. It is about love. Love to the people that are next to you and the silent support everybody deserves.