Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, the lighting of the menorah and the spiritual strength of the Jewish people. It's a time to celebrate family, tradition, miracles and mitzvahs.
For the 27th year in a row, NPR celebrates the Festival of Lights with stories of the season. Join Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz as they read tales by Andrea Kamens, Debra Darvick, Elizabeth Graver, Grace Paley and Evan Guilford-Blake.
'The Blue Wool Coat' by Andrea Kamens
Andrea Kamens lives in Boston, where she's a teacher, writer, community volunteer and mother of five. She is also a board member for The Story Space, New England's longest-running weekly venue.
Her story is written in a traditional Jewish folk tale style. It's called
"The Blue Wool Coat," and it reminds us that being selfless is the best way to show love.
'Protestant B., Not' by Debra Darvick
Journalist and advice columnist Debra Darvick is the author of This Jewish Life: Stories Of Discovery, Connection And Joy. This story, "Protestant B. Not," comes from the book. It's the true story of Mike Neulander, who served in the Gulf War as a helicopter pilot in the 1st Cavalry Division, received the Bronze Star Medal for aerial combat actions and retired as a major.
Darvick is also the author of the upcoming We Are Jewish Faces, a children's picture book celebrating Jewish diversity.
'A Christmas Mitzvah' by Elizabeth Graver
Elizabeth Graver wrote this story, "A Christmas Mitzvah," after volunteering with her family during the holidays. Her novels include The End Of The Point, Awake, The Honey Thief, and Unravelling.
Graver teaches at Boston College and is currently at work on a project that draws on her Sephardic Jewish heritage.
'The Loudest Voice' by Grace Paley
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In "The Loudest Voice," by celebrated short story writer Grace Paley, a Jewish girl performs in her school's Christmas play and learns more about herself.
Paley was an activist and teacher, and former state poet laureate in both New York and Vermont. She grew up in the Bronx surrounded by immigrant Jewish families, and her poetry and prose gave readers a glimpse into that world. She died in 2007.
'Dreidel' by Evan Guilford-Blake
Evan Guilford-Blake is an award-winning poet, playwright and novelist. He lives with his wife Roxanna and their two beloved rescue dogs in the southeastern U.S.
Guilford-Blake's story, "Dreidel," tells the heartwarming tale of a grandfather's love on the last night of Hanukkah.