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Rabbi Levi Raskin from the Chabad Jewish Center prepares for a special day with the children at the Rancho Santa Fe Library. Photo by Christina Macone-Greene
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Workshop explores the story of Hanukkah

RANCHO SANTA FE — On a recent Thursday afternoon, Rabbi Levi Raskin from the Chabad Jewish Center prepared for a special day with the children at the Rancho Santa Fe Library.

In fact, it’s an event that Raskin looks forward to each and every year.

The pre-Hanukkah workshop, he explained, included an interactive story entitled, “If the Candles Could Speak.” Reading to the children about the story of Chanukah was Raskin’s wife, Devorah, the director of the Hebrew School of Rancho Santa Fe.

“Then the kids will be making their own wax candles,” he said, noting the popularity of the hands-on afternoon.

Along with the candles, the children brought home gelt, little chocolate coins, readying for the spirit of the holiday.

This time of year brings the community together. And for Raskin it’s a wonderful opportunity to teach children about Hanukkah.

“The holidays are a time of unity and community, he said. “And if we don’t educate kids from a young age, it’s something that can easily be forgotten in the world of iPhones and iPads.”

Raskin wants people to know that the holiday of Hanukkah is all about adding light to the menorah, doing good, and sharing this lesson.

“That’s very important to learn and to celebrate,” Raskin said.

And the symbolism of the light is a powerful one.

Wherever there is darkness in the world, he said, adding light such as through Hanukkah can dispel the darkness. Sharing the light and gaining more light is the message of Hanukkah.

“On behalf of the Rancho Santa Fe Jewish community and as a clergy member, I want to wish the whole community happy holidays, and long health and happiness,” he said. “And the best way to stay together is to celebrate, to learn and to share.”