Hanukkah Lights 2021: NPR

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Our annual Chanukah lights celebrates the stories of the season.

Rafael Ben-Ari / Getty Images


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Rafael Ben-Ari / Getty Images


Our annual Chanukah lights celebrates the stories of the season.

Rafael Ben-Ari / Getty Images

Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks and the consecration of the Second Temple. The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the menorah, and it’s a time of year to celebrate love, family, and tradition.

For the 31st anniversary of Chanukah lights, Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz revisit the old favorites of authors Sholem Aleichem, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, Ellen Orleans, Lia Pripstein and Clement Clarke Moore. Tune in to the special show above or listen to individual stories below.

“Hanukkah Gelt” by Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem is the author of “Hanukkah Gelt”

Beit Sholem Aleichem / Wikimedia


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Beit Sholem Aleichem / Wikimedia


Sholem Aleichem is the author of “Hanukkah Gelt”

Beit Sholem Aleichem / Wikimedia

Sholem Aleichem (1859 – 1916) was a beloved Yiddish writer and humorist, known for his many life stories in the shtetl. A prolific writer, Aleichem has published a number of successful novels and plays, and is perhaps best known for his fictional confessions, letters, and monologues written in the voices of ordinary religious Jews. The most famous of these voices is Tevye the Dairyman, whose stories were immortalized in the Broadway musical. violin on the roof.

“Hanukkah Gelt” tells the humorous story of two young brothers who collect money for Hanukkah from all their relatives.

“Gifts of the Last Night” by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein wrote “The Gifts of the Last Night”

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Courtesy of the author

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein was educated at Barnard College, Columbia University and Princeton University, where she received her doctorate. in philosophy. In addition to being a professor of philosophy, she also writes fiction. His first novel was The body-mind problem, and his non-fiction books include Betraying Spinoza: the renegade Jew who gave us modernity and Plato at the Googleplex: why philosophy will not go away. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, the “Engineering Fellowship,” and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2015, she received the National Medal for Humanities from President Obama.

“Gifts of the Last Night” is about strange forces that haunt the Upper West Side on the last night of Hanukkah, including the most wonderful of all: the spirit of generosity.

“How to spell the name of God” by Ellen Orléans

Ellen Orleans is the author of “How to spell the name of God”

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Ellen Orleans is the author of five books of social commentary and LGBT humor. His short story book on Caribou Ranch Open Space, Mother Blue and the Deep Down Under and his memories Inside, the world is orange, will be released in 2022.

“How to Spell God’s Name” originally aired in 2019 and centers around a girl who loves words and grapples with the most complicated of all.

“Love and Latkes” by Lia Pripstein

Lia Pripstein is the author of “Of Love and Latkes”

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Lia Pripstein was born in the Soviet Union and raised in Israel. His works in English have been published in JewishFiction.net, Bacopa Literary Review and coming in New Voices: Contemporary Writers Facing the Holocaust. She has just completed a high-end political thriller set against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Her story “Of Love And Latkes” premiered on NPR’s Hanukkah Lights in 2016 and she is honored to have included her in the show’s favorites list for 2021.

“Erev Krismes” by Clement Clarke Moore, translated by Marie B. Jaffe

Clement Clarke Moore is the author of “Erev Krismes”

Mathew Brady Studio / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution


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Mathew Brady Studio / National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

Clement Clarke Moore (1779 – 1863) was an American scholar and educator. He was a professor at the General Theological Seminary in New York, specializing in Greek and Oriental literature.

Translated into Yiddish by Marie Jaffe for our 1991 show, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” is Moore’s best-known work. First published on December 23, 1823, the poem describes a father who sees Saint Nicholas bringing gifts to children on Christmas Eve. The poem helped make Saint Nicholas the cheerful, plump, toy-carrying figure of the American Christmas tradition.

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