I write this on Tuesday, the 20th of December 2022, the third of eight days, along with other Jews, that I will celebrate the holiday of Chanukah, the Festival of Lights. Each night at sundown we light the candles on our menorahs until all eight are lit. According to weather reports, it’s also another day that this cold will continue which tells me that it will remain at 37 degrees. Back east this temperature in winter would have been considered part of a heat wave, but we live here in southern Arizona. It will be just five degrees above freezing (ugh!) in the morning with increasing cloudiness. Another dullish, grayish day? I should be happier. It’s an improvement over the morning of twenty-eight degrees last Thursday. But I’m not.
The synagogue will have a big party for the Chanukah holiday tonight. Lighting the menorahs together, singing, enjoying catered gourmet dinners, including, of course, potato pancakes, (the Yiddish name is latkes), and great raffle prizes. I’m sad. We’re not going. Health is first and most important. We’re afraid to be around others who may or may not know they have Covid or one of the related viruses. The incidence of these viruses is rated high here in Pima County. This is one of a number of events we can’t attend. Most of our outings are to doctor appointments. Very little social time. Too much isolation. It wasn’t that long ago that we were all isolated from one another during the Covid epidemic. Fortunately, things are much better now. And as I look out my office window I smile. It’s sunny this afternoon.