Mother and child in front of Hanukkah candles.

Giving to Yourself on Hanukkah

By Max Hollander

Self-Care is a deeply Jewish ideal and can be found as early as the second chapter in the Torah. The book of Genesis says:

On the seventh day, God finished the work that God had been doing, and God ceased on the seventh day from all the work that God had done. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because on it God ceased from all the work of creation God had done.

After completing his task of creating the world, the Torah tells us God took an entire day to be with Himself and rest when His work was complete. A core principle of Jewish tradition is to emulate God’s ways, and this text teaches that recovery, rest and self-care are not only good; they are godly.

With that in mind, we turn to the festival of lights and the season of giving, a time of year traditionally celebrated with generosity, love and affection toward our friends and family. Sadly, many people forget to show themselves those same feelings. This year especially, it is vital that we do so in order to have a positive and rejuvenating holiday experience.

On Hanukkah, as you light the candles on the hanukkiah, be sure to look inward at the light shining inside of you, and take steps to ensure your inner flame is happy, healthy and bright.

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