Tonight we light the 6th candle of Chanukah.
The question today is: What six gifts have you received that have lit up your life?
However you want to define “gift” is fine.
Here are mine:
A Gift From My Mother-In-Law Pearl z”l. One day, when my mother-in-law Pearl z’’l was visiting us in Seattle, she came with me on an errand. As I parked to go into the dry cleaners, she put her hand on my arm and said, before you go, I want you to have this. She took her engagement ring off of her finger and handed it to me. Ely’s dad Irving had been gone for several years, and Pearl said to me, Honey, I want you to enjoy this while I’m still alive.
The Hineni community that I founded and lead has blossomed this year and has become the most wonderful gift in my life. The pandemic has created an opening for people to enjoy connecting online, and people are seeking a light in the darkness. Whatever the reason, the community has grown and become what I always dreamed about before I even went to rabbinic school – a group of people seeking depth in an environment of lovingkindness. You can find more about it here.
Our labradoodle Bo is a gift every single day. He makes me laugh out loud and elicits so much love and joy (which if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you see for yourself.) I love sharing him with my followers because he is too much fun to keep to ourselves.
Our grown boys, Josh & Ben. I have always felt, as Kahlil Gibran wrote, that they were gifts sent to us from beyond and that it was a sacred task to be their parent. The unfolding of their own lives is a wonder to behold. This year, I am so proud of how they have handled the pandemic – by being responsible and doing things like making sourdough and growing succulents.
My Twitter friends & followers. When my beloved mom died, my Twitter community put out an outpouring of love this year. It meant a lot to me that people, many of whom I’ve never met in person, reached out to me with such support. In addition, activism over the has helped me remember that most of us are really good at heart. ALSO, Twitter is fun & funny. You can follow me here.
Gifts In My Garden – When we lived in Seattle, I was a member of a garden club, that Mary Mae Colvin invited me into. It was an incredible group of older women with varying politics and backgrounds but who shared a deep love of all things green. I was given cuttings by a few women from their gardens that I planted in mine. When we moved from Seattle, I dug those plants up and gave them as gifts to other friends. Here’s a photo from my garden.
OBVIOUSLY I can’t count — so here’s #7 which I thought was #6 🙂
7. Our Neighbors. Before the pandemic, we liked each other but a new bond has formed over the past 9 months. We have gardened together, looked out for each other and comiserated. We have all worked hard to stay safe. Bo goes out to visit Charlie, our next-door neighbor every morning to say hi. My dear friend Mary Ann lives a few blocks away and has often either brought food over.
What about you? I’d love to hear (they don’t have to have long explanations either.)
Now it’s your turn.
What six gifts have you received that have lit up your life??
Add a few in the comments!
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