Sunday, Dec. 10, 1944
Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, the festival of lights. I was too young last December to realize what was going on. But Grandma let me climb onto a chair and watch as she set up a bronze candleholder called a menorah. Every night now for eight nights, we’ll light candles to celebrate what happened when Antiochus IV tried to force Jews to abandon our religion. He put out the oil lamps that always burned in the temple as a sacred flame. He even ordered pigs to be sacrificed in the temple as a way to force Jews out. But Jewish soldiers rose up and drove Antiochus out. Then they had the job of cleansing the temple. They also had to relight the sacred flame. They only had enough oil to burn one night and it would take another 7 days to make more. But the oil burned that long – a miracle! We hope for a miracle today, namely that the war will end before Christmas and all our family and friends will be together again, safe and warm at home.