By Sabrina Fine, Communications Intern
During the gentle sway of the ship, three of us huddled in the library aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and lit a
menorah. It was a moment of normalcy during a deployment that felt long and stressful. We were three different ranks and had three very different duties, and yet, we slowly recited the Hanukkah blessing in unison. It was a moment that brought three of us together to practice an ancient tradition. It also connected us with our families back home.
Hanukkah is an eight-day, winter holiday also known as the “Festival of Lights”. Hanukkah means “dedication.” It is a celebration of the re-dedication of the Holy Temple.
To me, while deployed in foreign seas, dedication was a significant word. As a sailor on my first deployment, Hanukkah was a Jewish reminder of being part of something bigger than myself. The ship had a dedicated mission. Also, our small Jewish gathering was dedicated to celebrating Hanukkah at sea despite our busy schedules and the small, yet significant number of us.
Volume 72. Number 4. Winter 2018