Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Want You to See How Some People in Jerusalem Light Their Hanukkiah

Have you ever met an Israeli who arrives early? Late, yes. But early? Never. Well here I am. I know I’m supposed to be visiting you next week, but I just couldn’t control myself. You see, yesterday evening I decided to take a leisurely fly-by at sundown. My destination was Me’ah She’arim – an ultra-orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem. Friends told me that the people living there have the most unbelievable Hanukkah candle lighting custom. While the rest of us light our Hanukkiah next to a window facing the street, they light their Hanukkiot outside their house, on the left hand side of the front door! The reason they do this is the same one you light yours near a window – to visually remind everybody about the miracle of the oil. The only difference is that if you light the Hanukkiah outside, you have to protect the candles from the wind, rain and maybe even snow. That’s why the people in Me’ah She’arim have special glass cases for their Hannukiot. I took a picture of the Hanukkiot lit by one family. Aren’t they neat – and don’t the lit candles look beautiful? They remind me of lanterns. Hey, that’s a great idea: Hanukkiah lanterns. Maybe you can make one as a class project? If not this year, maybe next. By the way, don’t forget to look at the wall of the building. It’s made out of Jerusalem stone. All the buildings in Jerusalem have outer walls like this – it’s the city’s trademark.
Oops. Just looked at my watch. It’s time to fly. I have to get my Hanukkiah ready for tonight. Hmmm…which city should I go to this time?
Hanukkah Sameach…Zvuvi

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