Hanukkah... I do not practice or is not a part of Judaism but I do observe or have a reflection of Hanukkah gratefully debt to my dear teacher, Ira Zucker. I met him when I was his elementary pupil and little did I know that I'd become his friend when I graduated from high school. He was also my mom's friend, my best friend's friend and her mom's friend and countless others friends.
Ira Zucker taught me the history of his family that came from Eastern Europe and continually to carry down the traditional celebration of Hanukkah and how it could have played a huge role into all of our lives through out history. He also taught me about slavery during Moses' era, taught me about The Holocaust, taught me about black slavery while US had only 13 colonies, taught me about the celebration of unity.
He invited me and few of his pupils with their parents' permissions over for Hanukkah. We played Dreidel and I complained that I always got either Nun or Shin and was the always first one to lose all those pennies I'd saved a year before.
I was his winter and summer student during his tutor sessions. He also taught me how to love people the way they are regardless of their religions, their cultures and their ethnics.
Unfortunately, he passed away when I was freshman at Gallaudet University. Today, I remembered him and would like to continue to remember him through the sunset of Hanukkah on December 11 to December 19. But it's never too early or too late to say Happy Hannukkah! Shalom!