At Hanukkah time we crowded around our shiny gold menorah

and sang songs which spoke of Judah

Maccabee and his mighty army.

The miracle of what God had done,

the oil that lasted eight days

when there was barely enough for one.

I was small enough to warrant a place

in front of my three sisters, mother and father;

And the light that was reflected from those candles

warmed me with a joy in being Jewish and having Hanukkah.

And being part of many others

whose windows also were aglow

with the menorahs flickering lights.

Like tiny memorials they shone

as testimonies of our faith,

our people, our destiny.

Across our town

Other windows were brightly lit,

But they were strung with red and green

glittering with Merry Christmas cheer.

No Jews lived here.

Were they Christians?

I didn’t know.

I was too young to care

Too rapt in the glow

Of my small world

to know the difference.

I only knew

They were not like us.

Surely no one

I said to myself

Could be as happy as I

or as warm inside

with the glow

of thousands of years

of story to our faith.

I’ve grown with time and its different now.

I have passed through dark apathy to a glow more profound.

The Lord shall be my everlasting light not some tradition.

For God, who caused the light to shine out of darkness

Has shone in my heart to give the light of knowledge

of the glory of God in the face of Israel’s Messiah.

So the Advent of Jesus is now my Hanukkah glow.