The Canteen is a tribute to all things Jewish sleepaway camp. Hosted by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), this blog is written by campers, alumni, parents, and camp professionals and is a place to talk about parenting, camp fun, projects, crafts, recipes, and more – all tied back to Jewish holidays, traditions and, of course, camp!
In the camp world, we are more about actions than words. Our days are full of learning and exploring through movement and activity. So, I say this Hanukkah season, let’s bring a little bit of this camp spirit into our lives and our homes and take a Hanukkah challenge. Let’s not just talk about light or use matches to light our Hanukkah candles, let’s get fired up and be the light we want to see in our world! I challenge you to be exceptional, go above and beyond the norm, and embody the number eight.
In Jewish mystical teachings, the number seven symbolizes perfection – the creation of the world happened in seven days, there are seven weeks between the holidays of Pesach and Shavout, there are seven Patriarchs and Matriarchs, there are seven wedding blessings, the menorah that was housed in the Holy Temple had seven branches, and so on. The number eight then symbolizes a higher state, above the natural order. Hanukkah is seeped in a tradition of miracles, where we commemorate exceptional acts of bravery, faith, and heroism. On the eight days of Hanukkah, we should strive to go above and beyond personal limitations and become more than we think we can be.
8-day Hanukkah Challenge
Day 1: Write a letter or postcard to someone in your life that has impacted you in a positive way but may not know it – teacher, religious leader, coach, soldier – tell them why you appreciate them.
Day 2: Serving others for a living is not always easy, leave a big tip for your waiter/waitress.
Day 3: Having three meals a day is not something to be taken for granted, help fight hunger in your area and give a time and/or food donation: .
Day 4: Inspire others to perform random acts of kindness, pick up the tab for the person behind you in line for coffee and ask them to pay it forward for someone else in the coming year.
Day 5: Volunteer to shovel snow for seniors in your area – team up with Volunteers of America and get matched up with seniors who live within two miles of you.
Day 6: Help improve our community by partnering with residents of specific Denver neighborhoods to complete home and neighborhood improvement projects – extremecommunitymakeover.org
Day 7: Become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources and take part in gardening, landscaping, and trail building and maintenance – http://www.voc.org/volunteer
Day 8: Put a smile one someone’s face, bake cookies to share with co-workers and teachers at your child’s school.
Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.
Pronounced: muh-NOHR-uh, Origin: Hebrew, a lamp or candelabra, often used to refer to the Hanukkah menorah, or Hanukkiah.
Pronounced: PAY-sakh, also PEH-sakh. Origin: Hebrew, the holiday of Passover.