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Spending holidays in the hospital—away from family, traditions and celebrations—can be very difficult. Holidays observed in the hospital, however, can take on new meaning and play an important role in healing. The Jewish chaplains and volunteers provide holiday visits at the bedside and community celebrations in the Stanford Hospital Atrium.
At the bedside
High Holidays and Sukkot
For Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jewish chaplains and volunteers can sound the shofar at the bedside and provide a modified service. A special meditation is provided for those unable to fast. During Sukkot, chaplains and volunteers visit with a lulav and etrog.
The Jewish Chaplaincy brings patients a Hanukah bag with a hanukiah (menorah), candles, chocolate gelt, a dreidl and a special message. Because patients are not allowed to light the candles due to fire regulations, they can dedicate the candles in the hospital and light them when they return home.
Purim and Passover
The chaplain and volunteers deliver misloach manot and Passover gift bags prepared by Jewish day school students to patients and staff. These bags include holiday foods and special letters from the children. The first two nights of Passover, the Jewish chaplain and volunteers will provide patients with supplies for making a seder, (complements of the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center) and will arrange for seder plate foods to be delivered by Stanford Hospital's Food Services along with the dinner meal.
Throughout the holiday, patients can request foods that are kosher-for-Passover from Food Services.
Reflections on experiencing Passover from a hospital bed:
As a community
The Jewish Chaplaincy presents holiday celebrations in the Stanford Hospital Atrium before Rosh Hashanah and at Hanukah. Attended by people of all faiths from the Medical Center and the local community, these special gatherings are presented in conjunction with the Spiritual Care Service of Stanford Health Care and the Chaplaincy Services at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.
Sounding the Shofar is presented before Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish Chaplaincy, students from Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School and members of the community present a shofar demonstration and reflection that relates the sounds of the shofar to the healing journey from illness to wholeness. The gathering concludes with apples, honey and honey cake.
Celebrate Sounding the Shofar 2014/5775, date to be announced.
A sukkah is constructed on the promenade between Stanford Health Care, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the Cancer Center. Visitors are welcome at all times to enjoy the shelter of the sukkah. Weekdays during Sukkot, snacks will be provided and members of the Jewish Chaplaincy will explore with visitors the meaning of the sukkah and it's relationship to healing.
Celebrate Sukkot 2014/5775, Wednesday October 8-15, location behind the Cancer Center next to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital (see map).
Candle lighting takes place each day of Hanukah at 4:00 p.m. at the bronze menorah next to the holiday tree. On one of the days, the Hanukah Festival of Light Celebration features songs, food, and an extended candle lighting that focuses on the healing themes of maintaining hope in theface of darkness and perseverance to overcome overwhelming odds.
Daily Candle Lighting 2014/5775, Tuesday, December 16 - Tuesday. December 23.
Hanukah Festival of Light Celebration 2014/5775, date to be announced, in the atrium annex at Stanford University Hospital.