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.