While most Israeli residents have set up their traditional Hanukkah décor and cook the traditional food, Gaza evacuees are still struggling to create a holiday atmosphere in their hotels.
“According to Jewish tradition, we should light the hanukkiah in our home, but we really don’t have a home,” said Rina Akerman, who has been living in a hotel since September as she and her family wait for mobile homes to move into.
Hotel regulations do not allow candles to be lit in guests’ rooms. The hotels have tried to compensate by lighting a communal hanukkiah in the lobby of the hotel.
“I kept thinking of last year, when we lit our hanukkiah together in our home and expected to do so this year too,” said Chana Cohen. “But our family hanukkiah is locked up in (storage).”