“What a holiday! No pestilence, no slavery, no locusts, no cattle disease or atonement.
“No synagogue, no guilt, no mortar, and no real lesson to be absorbed and passed down to my Jewish offspring. Thank God,” writes Joshua Braff, one of eighteen Jewish writers who extol, excoriate, and expand our understanding of this most merry of Jewish holidays.
These essays, by Adam Langer, Tova Mirvis, Steve Almond, Eric Orner, and others, range from the comedic to the snarky, the poignant to the poetic, and includes such topics as the jealousy experienced in December when the rest of America is celebrating Christmas (we never get to join in the reindeer games!); the problem parents have dampening their children’s desire for more presents (call it Greedikah!); and the weight gain associated with eating 432 latkes in eight nights (dayenu, enough!).
Whether your Chanukahs were spent singing “I have a Little Dreidel” or playing the “Maoz Tzur” on the piano, whether your family tradition included a Christmas tree or a Chanukah bush, whether the fights among your siblings over who would light the menorah candles rivaled the battles of the Maccabees, or even if you haven’t a clue who the Maccabees were, this little book proves there are as many ways to celebrate Chanukah as there are ways to spell it.
Read an excerpt!
Emily Franklin is the author of The Girls’ Almanac and Liner Notes and numerous novels for young adults. She has edited three previous anthologies, including It’s a Wonderful Lie: 26 Truths About Life in Your Twenties.