Best Of Hanukkah Lights: Eight Stories, Eight Nights


For each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, we offer a hand-selected work of fiction from the long-running Hanukkah Lights series. Modern day writers kindle our imaginations with stories inspired by the oil that miraculously burned in the temple for eight days and nights.

'The Demon Foiled' by Anne Roiphe

A modern fable that takes an often wry look at a family gathering touched by big-city politics. Yet under the spell of Hanukkah, even political spin can become an enlightening truth. Roiphe is author of Up the Sandbox and My Real Life as a Mother.

'The Miracle of the Oil' by Simone Zelitch

A touching fable of inner conflict and the challenges of tolerance. Zelitch is the author of the novel Louisa which won the Goldberg Prize from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. She has also written Moses in Sinai and Confession of Jack Straw.

'Nona Maccabeus' by Gloria DeVidas Kirchheimer

Confronted with a "hip-hop holiday," a feisty grandmother fights back with a lively dose of her Sephardic heritage. Kircheimer is the author of the popular story collection Goodbye, Evil Eye.

'The Maccabee of Miami Beach' by Thane Rosenbaum

A down-and-out retiree gets a dramatic chance at fame — though maybe not fortune — amidst the art deco glow of Collins Avenue. Rosenbaum is also the author of the novel The Golems of Gotham.

'Hanukkah in America' by Amy Bloom

Amy Bloom tells the insightful tale of a wise but inexperienced seamstress, who gets a bittersweet taste of the high life in the colorful, "old world" of Yiddish theater in the Roaring Twenties.

'Hanukkah At Tiffany's' by Leslea Newman

A four-year-old's rebellious name-change moves a grandmother to recall her own childhood. Newman is the author of a number of children's books, including Runaway Dreidel and Heather Has Two Mommies.

'Holiday' by Steve Stern

In the year 2015, a cynical student finds himself on an unlikely road trip with offbeat relatives, traversing a harsh world where it takes little miracles simply to move from place to place and from day to day. Steve Stern is also the author of the story collection The Wedding Jester; his novel The Frozen Rabbi is slated for publication in 2009. Stern teaches creative writing at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

'Moon Landing' by Shira Nayman

As man first reaches the lunar surface, two young girls find an emotional common bond, through the age-old miracles of their vastly differing cultures. Nayman, who also works as a clinical psychologist, is the author of Awake in the Dark, a novella and stories; and The Listener, a novel. She teaches at Columbia University.

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