Two years ago I was in New York for Hanukka and had the opportunity to meet an amazing family who has their doors open for pretty much anyone who needs a place to stay for a couple of days (or weeks, in my case).
As I was let in, the second thing I noticed were some pretty impressive huge paintings hanging on the walls, they looked original. But just as impressive, were the drawings and paintings all around them, all sizes and colors, some were notes of love, others just crayon scribbles, pictures and crafts by the kids or to them.
Which reminds me, the first thing I saw as soon as the front door opened, were a bunch of kids maybe four or five, smiling at me, taking my luggage away, jumping excitedly, looking at me as if I was so expected.
At night I lay in bed in the complete darkness and I think I see a river flowing from the wall and hiding in it again. Now, I haven't slept for a couple days and I have a terrible cold, both of which can be responsible for my hallucinations so back to sleep I go. But when the next day the river is still there indeed, next to a bunch of crayon-made rocks to complete the landscape, it hits me and I know I'm in it to appreciate so much more beyond smiling little people and their fertile creativity.
The next weeks went by incredibly fast considering the monotonous work I was doing at the basement on my computer. And slowly but surely, the inviting hugs from a blonde curly little man and a few casual "hi's" with the rest of the crew crawl up to my heart and one Hanukka night I'm just sitting there, taking it all in, enjoying my stay at the big frozen apple like never before.
As it turned out, not all the big pictures were originals… But the small ones stuck all around, those were as original as they come.
Hanukka is a tale of the few vs. the many, the little vs. the big and mighty. A small army of a few thousand essentially crushed a well-trained military force of 50,000 soldiers complete with horsemen and war elephants. Yehudit went quite literally inside the lion’s den and came out with its head in a bag. The little oil burned for eight nights against all odds.
But history repeats itself, David and Goliath is a recurring theme in the life of our people, and although I’m sitting all the way across the globe in the relative safety of obliviousness, I say a prayer for our brothers in Israel, I stand by the truth, and I light a candle because lies can only be exposed by truth and darkness by light. And because as history would have it, my crayon art stands a chance.