Chanukah Happenings II

December 3, 2007 at 7:21 am Leave a comment

I did the post on Chanukah happenings around town; now for some happenings that do not require leaving home. While these suggestions have a Jewish flavor to them, I believe they might be of interest to many people, regardless of their religious beliefs (or lack thereof), and regardless of where they live.

menorah5_200.jpgNPR’s Best of Hanukkah Lights: Eight Stories, Eight Nights “Modern day writers kindle our imaginations with stories inspired by the oil that miraculously burned in the temple for eight days and nights.” Includes readings by Anne Roiphe, Amy Bloom, Mark Helprin, Leslea Newman, and other literary luminaries. They’re already online. Check out, too, other stories for the holiday on NPR.

man_miraculous_sm.jpgThe Man with the Miraculous Hands Dr. Felix Kersten, an alternative-medicine specialist and masseuse, had the singlular ability to alleviate Heinrich Himmler’s severe stomach pains with his hands, and could convince Himmler to release innocent prisoners condemned to die. By WWII’s end, thanks to Kersten, thousands of Jews and other prisoners eluded the fate of the concentration camp. This is a memorable account of a little-known miracle of World War II. I’ve given this book to a dozen people, all of whom loved it.

1069519.jpgWest-Eastern Divan The brainchild of Daniel Barenboim and the late Edward Said, this is an orchestra comprised of Israeli and Arab musicians. Think what you want about the specifics of the situation in the Middle East, but let’s hope for peace and look in that direction whenever and wherever possible. The orchestra’s newest CD, Live in Berlin, features Beethovan’s 9th, further making this a nice holiday goody.

latkas.jpgLow-Fat Potato Pancakes I have mixed feeling about Chanukah because of the fried-food factor. Simply, I don’t like serving junk food—even if it is an almost 2,000-year-old tradition—to people I love. This recipe for low-fat latkas might be the miracle I’ve been praying for.

And finally, the piece de Chanukah resistance: the PS 22 Chorus of Staten Island has a killer rendition of “Esa Enai,” complete with a grade-school rapper—

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Entry filed under: holiday, Judaism, literature, music, the arts.

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