readers rap 88.
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Posted by Tova Lebovits, Ramot, Jerusalem
That entire week it was almost Hannukah
and he was going to be the best Hannukah candle ever.
Each day, he practiced standing straight and tall absorbing his family's
praise and becoming the proudest candle.
That week he learned that candles wear garlands on their heads,
with flames sticking out of them.
His flame was green and each candle had his own special color.
--'Each of them is special in their own special way
and together they light the darkness away.'
Candles follow instructions.
They don't mess up their clothes
or chew gum during the play!
When it's a candle's turn, he must
take a big step forward, so people can see him;
He must speak loudly and slowly so people can hear and understand.
The afternoon of the play everyone at home was so excited--for him.
It was his first time being a real Hannukah candle.
Just as they were leaving the house, he announced that
he wanted to be-- JudahMaccabee -- instead!...
He wouldn't budge! He was as stubborn as an ox.
Mom finally agreed that candles can wear Judah Maccabee's rubber
sword tucked inside their pants.
Nodding, HE announced that he was a JudahMacabee candle.
Two dozen families sat in the cozy nursery.
Nine candles walked in single file (one being the Shamash)
and formed a line facing the crowd.
Being the tallest he was in the middle, --the fifth candle.
As each candle stepped forward reciting their rhyme, applause broke out.
Candle four stepped up and mouthed the words, but no sound came out.
"Louder, louder" everyone yelled.
Then JudahMacabee candle stepped forth proudly.
His face turned red as he shouted his lines with the strength of
a true Maccabee.
As people cheered he tried to pull his
Judah Maccabee sword out and wave it, but
he knocked off candle four's garland instead. Candle 4 started crying.
Next came candle SIX and he had a problem. He needed a place to hide his thick sticky wad of chewing gum.
As JudaMacabee candle bent down to retrieve
number four's garland, candle six eyed the back of his thick hair.
Acting quickly and decisively he hid the gum smack in the thick of it.
Candles, six, seven, eight, nine-Judahmacabee candle's fingers did an elaborate dance above his head pulling on the long stands of gum that stuck to his fingers and hair.
Like the miracle of the oil, the strands only multiplied.
When the candles finished their lines, his family surrounded him and congratulated him on his earsplitting performance. He beamed!
Later though, he yelled as they tried pulling the gum out.
Everyone gave advice on how to get it out. When they got home, they
tried it all: peanut butter, shampoo, olive oil...Nothing worked.
They finally had to shave part of his hair off, leaving a latke shaped
bald spot right in the back of his head.
Now, it being Hannukah, you may think that I spun this tale out of
thin air, as one might a dreidel. True, it may be that time,
imagination and wishful thinking, may have colored and embellished it
somewhat, but something like this did happen many years ago to
my little brother Beryl. That bald spot was as real as they came.
I look at the world today and I wish and pray for JudahMaccabee candles.
Muscles alone don't make it. Prayers alone aren't enough. We need both prayers and action.
Our holidays, describe attempts of our physical and spiritual annihilation, whether by Haman & crew, Pharaoh and cohorts, or Antiochus and gang--they surely tried.
Over the centuries they tried --to this very day they try.
Iran's Ahmadinejad threatens to wipe us off the map and his nuclear intentions are real.
What distinguishes the Nachshon Ben Aminadavs, Mordechais and Esthers, and Maccabees throughout the centuries is their spiritual fortitude, and unwavering belief. On the one hand, they are spiritual candles. They know who they are.
On the other hand--their inner light and faith brings them, not only to pray for G-d's help, but to initiate ACTION in the face of calamity. They are doers -they are Maccabees.
When they ACT, G-d comes to their aid and delivers them from their enemies.
It's not only 'might that makes it right',
It takes a " light to guide the fight "
I wanted to wish you all a very Happy Hannukah.
May the lights of Hannukah always shine bright in our lives,
and prevail over darkness everywhere.
To read more Cafe Oleh Blogs click here »
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