To celebrate the season of miracles and light, NPR searched far and wide to find the best existing writing about Hanukkah. For this year's annual Hanukkah Lights special, we've assembled beloved stories from iconic writers, as well as hidden gems from writers you may not know.
Join hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for original work from Isaac Bashevis Singer, Kathryn Blume, Leah Lax, Eric Kimmel and Jonathan Safran Foer. Listen to the full hour-long special above, or hear individual stories below.
"A Hanukkah Evening In My Parents' House"
by Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Bashevis Singer won the Nobel Prize in 1978. He was born in Poland and wrote primarily in Yiddish. He is considered a master of the short story, and of precisely rendering the perils and pleasure of Jewish life.
Singer's Hanukkah Lights story draws from his childhood in Poland and is translated from a collection titled The Power Of Light.
"A Hanukkah Evening in My Parents' House"
"A Hanukkah Light"
by Kathryn Blume
Kathryn Blume is a speaker, writer, environmental activist and award-winning solo performer who has toured her original work to more than 50 cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe. She co-founded the Lysistrata Project and works as executive director of Vermontivate! She lives in the middle of the woods with her husband Mark Nash and two highly interactive cats.
Blume's contribution to Hanukkah Lights is about the power of Hanukkah in the aftermath of a soldier's deployment in Afghanistan.
by Leah Lax
Leah Lax is the author of Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life And Finally Came Home, believed to be the first gay memoir ever to come out of the Jewish Hasidic world.
For Hanukkah Lights, Lax takes a look inside an ultra-Orthodox Hanukkah.
"Hershel And The Hanukkah Goblins"
by Eric A. Kimmel
Eric A. Kimmel grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and now lives in Portland, Ore. He is the author of more than 120 books for children, including such classics as Anansi And The Moss-Covered Rock and Hershel And The Hanukkah Goblins.
For Hanukkah Lights, Kimmel shares his Hanukkah classic.
Download a Hershel And The Hanukkah Goblins 25th-anniversary activity kit.
"Hershel and The Hanukkah Goblins"
"A Beginners Guide To Hanukkah"
by Jonathan Safran Foer
Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, Eating Animals, Tree Of Codes and The New American Haggadah. "A Beginners Guide To Hanukkah" first appeared in The New York Times.
Foer's addition to Hanukkah Lights is a humorous guide to the holiday.
"A Beginners Guide to Hanukkah"