Candles, latkes, action: It's "Hanukkah Lights," with stories of the season from NPR. Join hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for original work from Andy Borowitz, Theodore Bikel, Anne Burt and Debra Ginsberg, plus a classic from the "Hanukkah Lights" vault by Erika Dreifus.
Whether you like your Hanukkah tales humorous or historical, magical or true-to-life, there's something for you in this brand-new collection of holiday stories.
Listen to the full hour-long special above, or hear individual "Hanukkah Lights" stories below.
Our Hanukkah Lights stories were commissioned with the help from Moment Magazine.
"The First Hanukkah"
by Andy Borowitz
Andy Borowitz is a New York Times best-selling author and a comedian who has written for The New Yorker since 1998. In 2001, he created the Borowitz Report, a satirical news column with millions of readers around the world, for which he won the first-ever National Press Club award for humor. The Borowitz Report was acquired by The New Yorker in 2012. He has published two recent best-selling books: The 50 Funniest American Writers, which became the first title in the history of the Library Of America to make the Times best-seller list, and a memoir, the No. 1 best-seller An Unexpected Twist, which Amazon named the Best Kindle Single of 2012. He has been called a "Swiftian satirist" (Wall Street Journal), "America's satire king" (The Daily Beast), "the funniest human on Twitter" (The New York Times), and "one of the funniest people in America" (CBS News' Sunday Morning).
Borowitz's "Hanukkah Lights" story lives up to his billing: It's a comic attempt at a better-late-than-never Hanukkah.
"For The Ghosts"
by Anne Burt
Anne Burt's fiction has appeared in Meridian Literary Magazine (2003 Editors' Prize In Fiction), among other literary publications, including the Fall 2014 issue of Referential Magazine. She has published numerous essays, including commentary for NPR's All Things Considered and Talk Of The Nation. She is the editor of the essay collection My Father Married Your Mother, as well as co-editor (with Christina Baker Kline) of the essay collection About Face. Burt received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from New York University. She is currently working on two connected novellas, titled The Collectibles.
Burt's "Hanukkah Lights" story, "For The Ghosts," describes every Jewish mother's nightmare (and her dream).
"The Only Miracle"
by Debra Ginsberg
Debra Ginsberg is the author of three memoirs, including Waiting: The True Confessions Of A Waitress and Raising Blaze, and four novels, including Blind Submission and the award-winning The Grift. She reviews books for The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Washington Post Book World and Shelf Awareness, and has contributed to NPR's All Things Considered. Ginsberg has worked as a freelance editor for more than 20 years. She lives in San Diego, literally surrounded by family. When not writing, editing, reading, walking on the beach or bantering with her son, she bakes world-famous confections and tarts.
Ginsberg's contribution to "Hanukkah Lights" is a dream of a story, evoking the wonder of a miracle and the heartbreak of miracles that don't take.
"The City Of Light"
by Theodore Bikel
There's nowhere near enough room here to list Theodore Bikel's accomplishments. A legendary folksinger; theater, film and television actor; radio host; president of Actors' Equity; political activist; Jewish spokesman; and author, Bikel has traveled the world into his 90s, performing, speaking and singing. From The African Queen to Star Trek: The Next Generation, his versatility speaks for itself.
For "Hanukkah Lights," Bikel offers a new story that recalls a Marc Chagall painting.
Download a free illustrated e-book of this story at Moment Magazine.
by Erika Dreifus
Two years after Pearl Harbor, exhausted Marines on a tiny Pacific island find hope in a moment of unexpected light. Dreifus is the author of Quiet Americans, a story collection inspired by the experiences of her paternal grandparents, German Jews who came to the U.S. in the late 1930s.