My husband and I moved into our first home this summer. As we explored our street, we took a look at the doorposts of the other houses, looking for mezuzot, trying to see if we were the only Jewish family on the block. We found one other home and brought them challot for Shabbat to extend a sort of “Hello, you’re not the only Jewish family on the block anymore!”
At this Chanukah season, we will retake a walk around the block, and perhaps those without mezuzot may still have a Chanukah menorah shining proudly from their living room window, letting the light of their Jewish pride shine out into the world. My prayer for our community is that we put Jewish pride at the forefront of our minds — that we proudly display chanukiyot in our front windows — and that such a display allows us to connect with other Jewish families in our neighborhood. It’s a lonely world out there these days. This year, I pray that the light of the menorah will act as a reminder that though we may be distant, we are not alone.
Rachael Klein Miller is an associate rabbi at Temple Emanu-El.