Jewish Life

Kolot – Candles Shining Brightly

A Chanukah Children’s Tale by Howard Meyerowitz

Liora and Uriel are anxiously anticipating Chanukah. Yes, there will be small nightly gifts, but the joy of lighting the candles and sitting down to a family dinner with loved ones excites them the most! Of course, plates of freshly fried crisp potato latkes are something to look forward to as well.

“Let’s do something special for this Chanukah,” suggests Liora.

“That’s a great thought,” responds Uriel,”and I have the perfect idea. Everyone knows the role the shamash plays in lighting the candles, but not about the roles of the other candles. We can make up a story about each of those eight candles and share it with everyone we know. I think they’ll enjoy reading it.”

“Very nice,” replies a smiling Liora clapping her hands together.”What might the first candle be thinking? It has to be very brave to be the first.”

Uriel responds,”Yes, we can have it say, ‘I’m not sure about this, but I want to set an example for the other seven, so I’ll go first.’”

“I like that,” Liora agrees. 

The two children then agree that number two candle will see that candle one does okay and says, “I want to support my friend and join it with my flame each night.” Next they think of what each succeeding candle will say.

“That looks like fun,” giggles candle three as it gleefully joins in.

“I am the middle candle and it’s very important I complete the first four as brightly as possible,” says the fourth candle proudly.

“Since I am the twin of candle number one I also feel responsible to set an example for candles six, seven and eight,” adds a beaming candle five.

“We will be nearing the end and I will happily support number five,” says number six candle standing straight and tall.

“And I want to shine as beautifully as possible to make everything ready for candle eight for its one important night,” offers a smiling candle seven.

“With great respect for my seven friends whose flames have burned brightly these past seven nights I want to complete the eight days of lighting in the best fashion I can,”  says candle number eight whose flame seems to almost bow to the others.

For eight days these wonderful candles will brighten the darkened nights for Jewish families around the world. Each night, whether one flame or eight, as reflected in the eyes of all present, will bring to mind past Chanukah memories and help create a new one.

When they finish writing their Chanukah story Liora and Uriel smile and hug and say,”We did okay.”

Torah Portion – Bereshit
Torah Portion – Terumah
KOLOT – Isaac Is We, and We Are Isaac

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