This Hanukkah was a very special Hanukkah for my grandchildren who had decided that they would forgo their usual presents to give Christmas presents to children on Staten Island whose families had lost so much during Hurricane Sandy.
We pooled the money we usually spend on gifts; the kids, ages 10 to 19, took the money and bought presents for others. The presents filled up the back of a pick-up truck. A Yoga instructor in Staten Island transformed her studio into a store where Staten Island parents could come and select Christmas presents for their children.
This gesture of these six children made us adults proud. It belongs to a Jewish tradition, Tikkun olam, (“repairing the world” or “healing and restoring the world”) which suggests that we all have shared responsibility with the Creator “to heal, repair and transform the world.” Two of my eight wonderful grandchildren are celebrating Christmas and they too will be pooling money for Hurricane Sandy families.