Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In Jerusalem, All is Aglow

In Nachla'ot, this is what we see. Lights, lights, in every shape and size.
I'll admit it: I am incredibly spoiled being in Jerusalem for the first half of Chanukah. In fact, spoiled probably isn't even the most appropriate word. I need a word with more awesomeness and emphasis on "special" and "unique."

If you've never been in Jerusalem for Chanukah, then you're missing out. There's something about walking down a street and, when you turn to look down any alley, seeing doorway after doorway bright with the lights of chanukiot or menorahs. I was telling Tuvia that it reminds me of Christmastime back in Missouri and Nebraska, when my dad would insist on us driving around -- as a family -- to look at the varied and unique displays of lights in every neighborhood of town. Some went all out with every last inch covered in beautiful white lights (classy) and some would go all out with plastic Santa figurines and colorful lights upon every door and window frame (barf).

In Jerusalem, you see gigantic chanukiot and small ones. Silver and pewter, small glasses filled with oil, some in boxes, some simply on chairs in doorways. The variety is beautiful, the light is uplifting. I suppose this is one of the times of year where Jerusalem feels whole, connected, complete, and as one. I can't fully describe how beautiful it is -- you have to see and feel it to believe it -- but I hope some of the photos here can give you a taste of what it's like.

You can light 'em on a chair ...
I also wish I could go into a big academic diatribe about Chanukah really being (probably) a belated Sukkot celebration, but I'll save you the drama that it might unfold. I'll just say that for what it's worth, most people don't know the whole story about Chanukah and how it evolved through the years to what we know today. I will add, of course, that I love how appropriate it is to see so many chanukiot lit on the right side of the doorpost here -- after all, this is where we are meant to light our chanukiot because they are meant to sit opposite the mezuzah upon our right doorposts as a reminder of the rekindling of our commitment to HaShem and the Torah.

At any rate, Chag Chanukah Sameach, Chag Sameach, Happy Chanukah -- all from Jerusalem, which is a'glow (but not a'blaze, Baruch HaShem!).

We chose to set up our tea light chanukiah on our window ledge. Chag Chanukah Sameach!
For more photos, check out my Facebook! Also, for what it's worth, we were interviewed by the friendly faces behind Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem, so stay tuned to their website to see if my hilarious comments about Israelis and Floridians make it on-air.