Lighting Up My Chanukah

Lighting Up My Chanukah

By Sally Mundell

As we approach the holiday season and Chanukah, rather than go through the motions of another Jewish holiday, I decided to create my owning meaning and connection as a modern Jew.

While I remember stories of a miracle and eight days of light, they don’t connect to my soul in a way that I crave today.

Matilda and Ruby Mundell help their mother Sally Mundell, cut the ribbon outside the Packaged Good on July 2.
Matilda and Ruby Mundell help their mother Sally Mundell, cut a ribbon outside the Packaged Good in Dunwoody on July 2, 2016.

Having two little girls of my own, I often think about what I should pass on to them, and I remind myself of the story of the brisket.

The story goes like this: The daughter asks the mother why she cuts the end of the brisket off before it goes into the oven and throws away a perfectly good piece when there is plenty of room in the pan. The mother replies, “Because that’s what my mother did.”

The daughter then goes to the grandmother and asks the same question, and the grandmother replies, “Because this pan is too small for my brisket.”

It’s important that we understand traditions and decide which we are connected to and pass those on to our children with purpose and meaning.

So that brings me back to my Chanukah and the way I will pass it on to my girls.

The Chanukah story is one of bravery and positivity in the end. In honor of it, I will search within to make sure my own light shines. I will take a bigger step to help others and be my best self, and my girls will see their mother giving, caring and loving, and my light will light their own.

I will reflect not on the miracle from centuries ago, but on the miracles that surround me every day. I will pause to enjoy hugs and kisses from my girls, lazy mornings, a walk in nature, and a beautiful sunset.

As for any “enemies” who disagree with my beliefs, I will get to know them better and try to understand their point of view.

And I hope that my light spreads to others, creating my Chanukah.


Sally Mundell is the founder of the nonprofit Packaged Good in Dunwoody.

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