First Candle Lighting of Hanukkah, Sunday November 28, 2021 via Zoom

Story by Jessica Goldstein

Right off the heels of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah began on Sunday evening November 28, 2021. There was a lot of excitement and warmth that could be felt over Zoom.

Todd said all three blessings to start the Hanukkah celebration. The first and second blessings are said each night of Hanukkah and in which G-d commands us to light the Hanukkah candles and the second honors G-d who performed marvelous deeds for our ancestors. The third blessing is only performed on the first night of Hanukkah (or the first of any celebration or holiday), the Shehecheyanu which thanks

G-d for sustaining us to reach this season. 

After the blessings, Todd shared how happy he is to be celebrating his first Hanukkah in the Maplewood home. Rachel showed everyone a gift from her family, new Fitbit watch and told everyone how much she loves it. Andrew let everyone see his family’s beautiful menorah. Stacy told everyone about how she flew to sunny, warm Florida for Thanksgiving to celebrate with her family and how special her time was. Although she had a wonderful time, she is glad to be back in NJ with her JSDD family. Ralph shared his wish for Hanukkah, he hopes to see everyone in person and celebrate holidays together.

The evening ended with everyone joining in to sing songs in both Hebrew and English and all are looking forward to joining in over Zoom to  lighting candles each of the eight nights of Hanukkah.