December 2022                                                                                                                      Kislev-Tevet 5783

A Message from Women’s League President Barbara Erler

My Father’s Hands

When faced with the task of writing my monthly HaKol article, many things came to my mind. With Hanukkah coming there are many topics from which to choose.  I could write about when my girls were little and how I made sure they got the same type of gift as the other one did. It would never fly if one got socks and underwear while the other got the best toy ever. I coded the packages, so they got the same “thing”. They would look at each other and say SHEETS in unison. I could write about grandchildren celebrating Hanukkah. That is a whole other world. I could remind everyone that this holiday is about the miracle, not the gift. The oil lasted 7 more nights than it should have… like having your cell phone battery stay fully charged until you got home to your charger. 


I could discuss latkes and jelly donuts. What makes the perfect latka: grating or Trader Joe’s? Homemade donuts or Krispy Kreme?  I close my eyes and think. What do I see, hear, and feel about Hanukkah?  That, my friends, is simple. It is my father’s hands. They were very big and strong hands. I always felt safe when he was holding my hand in his. I was safe. He had marks around his nails that looked like dry blood. I asked him what it was from, and he said that he bit his cuticles. One of his thumbnails had ridges and it was cool to run my fingers along them in play. What do his hands have to do with Hanukkah?   Because when I close my eyes and think of Hanukkah, these are the memories I get. My father’s hands held a twisted-colored candle lighting our menorah. When he was done lighting, he would turn on the little music box and it would play “Rock of Ages.” I find such comfort in the memory of my father’s hands.  Today I light his menorah. The music box is broken, and I use oil instead of wax to light the flames. But that’s okay, it’s my father’s hands that matter most to me. I hope he smiles down as I do what he taught us to do.  I light his menorah and imagine his hand guiding mine as I do so. Cherish your Hanukkah memories, hang on to them.


Chag Hanukkah Sameach!  See you at our next event on Sunday, December 4 for BINGO In the Afternoon.


Sunday, December 4 at 2:00 pm.  Do you remember how much fun it was to work at the Temple Bingo games?  Let’s bring back that fun at the Women’s League-sponsored Bingo in the Afternoon.  It is open to the entire Temple Community and the Community-at-Large.  So, bring your family and friends.  It will be an afternoon of fun, snacks, and prizes.  The cost is $10.00 for 5 games (each game comes with 4 bingo grids.)


Scrip:  Contact Evelyne Seabrook at 714-313-7660 or  She has many cards on-hand and can pre-order what you need for Hanukkah cooking or gift giving. They will also be available at Bingo in the Afternoon.


Gift Shop:  Do you need decorations or a latke plate?  Maybe a hostess gift?  A Hanukkah gift for your child, grandchild, or great-grandchild halavi!  The gift shop, now located in the Multi-purpose Room, still has Hanukkah merchandise to choose from.  It will be open during Bingo in the Afternoon or by calling Jenny Levy at 714-326-4263.


Torah Fund:  Co-chairs, Susan Baum & Yvette Brooks encourage you to support 80 years of Torah Fund with an on-line donation at  Make sure you specify that the donation should be credited to Temple Beth Emet Women’s League.  Or you can send a check made out to Torah Fund (just Torah Fund) and mail it to Yvette Brooks, 25 Harvard Court, Coto de Caza, CA 93679.  Call Susan for more information at 714-746-1114.