Friday, August 14, 2020

There’s a lot happening in our world. Every piece of news, each email, each buzz, ring and notification on our phones is more thought-provoking than the next. It’s enough to make our heads spin. 

But we also know that decompressing with our families is the balm we need to soothe our souls, to get reacquainted with shalom bayit even on days when it isn’t Shabbat. 

This Chanukah we are accepting the Chanukah Challenge from Screening Our Future, an initiative developed by the Bergen County heads of school, envisioned to place limitations and context on our mobile devices. 

The Chanukah Challenge calls on students (and parents!) as well as all relatives, friends and fellow menorah lighters to go screen-free for 30 minutes after the Chanukah candles have been lit.  This allows us all the opportunity to enjoy our family and friends while basking in the light of the menorah. 

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The peace and protection we feel the rest of the year from our Shabbat candles is present during these Chanukah days. It is a wonderful time for Jewish families and friends to light up the darkness of their homes, neighborhoods, communities and the world, from Riverdale to Stamford to Jerusalem. 

It is a show of spiritual strength and continued prosperity to our children that even during times of strife, the resilient Jewish people’s role in the world is to bring light to the darkness.

As we succeed in this year’s Chanukah Challenge, may Hashem protect us all. Let us take the light of the eternal menorah with us and allow it to warm us and strengthen us and our families for the entire year.

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