I am going to start my chat with two quotes from Wikipedia:
"Hanukkah (Hebrew: חנוכה, IPA: ['χanuka], alt. Chanukah), also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, and may occur from late November to late December on the Gregorian calendar."
"The festival is observed by the kindling of the lights of a special candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, one light on each night of the holiday, progressing to eight on the final night. An extra light called a shamash (Hebrew: "guard" or "servant") is also lit each night, and is given a distinct location, usually higher or lower than the others. The purpose of the extra light is to adhere to the prohibition, specified in the Talmud (Tracate Shabbat 21b–23a), against using the Hanukkah lights for anything other than publicizing and meditating on the Hanukkah story."
You can read the full Wiki article on Hanukkah here.
We celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah with our relatives on Staten Island today. Jesus is Jewish, so I enjoy the best of both worlds and refuse to fight about it. God gave us the right to choose, so I choose both sides of the Bible and believe every word the Holy Spirit has to say.
It's nice to learn from people who can read and write Hebrew. I am struggling to learn how to read and write this language and realize my boys are going to have to learn Hebrew as well so they can keep up with their Daddy's side of the family. :-)
Our relatives are used to the Autism / PDD-NOS issues and have no problem distracting our children, getting them to focus on small tasks to occupy their minds. Noah was quite the little helper tonight. For the first time he was allowed to light the Menorah. A very cool moment I must say for it was totally unexpected. The entire time we were singing in Hebrew that kid was beaming. It felt really good to see him so interested in the festivities and willing to participate without having a melt down. The only odd moment was his insisting on turning off the kitchen lights while we were enjoying dinner. I kept wondering if it was the candle light of the Menorah he was focused on, or the gorgeous Christmas lights from the homes across the street visible through the kitchen windows. He managed to flip that light switch several times tonight. What a cheeky little fellow for it turned into quite a silly game (LOL).
If you were to ask me I'd have to hypothesize that the number one attraction for Noah wanting to visit with Uncle Lester and his family appears to revolve around music. My boy has a thing for guitars and is always grabbing a musical instrument to strum or a microphone to sing into. Sometimes he can be found trying to finger slap Ben's bass, pluck at the violin or attack Alex's keyboards with great gusto (LOL). I have promised him music lessons. He is going to hold me to that promise and I am looking forward to delivering on it. Noah has a beautiful singing voice. Although he is speech delayed and suffering from Echolalia, the fact that he can sing in multiple languages has us very hopeful we can use music as a tool to compensate for some of his learning disabilities. The Autism spectrum can produce some startling traits in its victims. We're hoping to turn this curious trait into a useful strength since my two legged recorder has a ear for music and languages.
Noah picked out some Christmas / Hanukkah family eye candy to share. We enjoyed our evening with our family and hope that you all enjoyed your holiday as well. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and wishing you a very happy New Year.
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