web analytics
May 27, 2015 / 9 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


A Made-In-Israel Chanukah Story

    Last year on the seventh morning of Chanukah our phone stopped working.  It wasn’t completely dead; it was still receiving calls and placing outgoing ones.  But there was a funny kind of static on the line.  So on the seventh afternoon of Chanukah we called the phone company. At the time we had been living in Israel only a few months, and I still got shaky every time I made a phone call in Hebrew.   Luckily, the customer service representative was pleasant, and said a technician could come between either 3 and 5p.m. − or 7 and 9p.m. 


    “Which time would you prefer?” he asked.


     Which time? Well, that was a no-brainer. Nice and early in the afternoon or smack in the middle of bedtime?


     I made an appointment for between 3 and 5 and hung up. Then I informed my husband about the impressively quick service we’d be receiving.


    He turned to me with an ominous look in his eyes. “You know when he’s going to come,” he said, and I could practically see the storm clouds in the air. 


   “Between 3 and 5 p.m.?” I ventured.  Somehow I knew that was not the answer.  


    Meir shook his head. “He’s going to come exactly when it’s time to light the Chanukah candles.”


    I gasped. Okay, so I exaggerate. (Anyone who knows my husband knows that “ominous” and “storm clouds” are not words generally associated with him.)  But the truth is he very much likes to light Chanukah candles at the earliest possible time, at sunset, and, somehow, nearly every night of Chanukah that year something happened to delay us. And now the eighth night was rapidly approaching and we were waiting for a telephone repairman.


“Well,” I said with an attempt at cheeriness, “this is Israel.  If he comes when we’re about to light, we’ll just invite him to light with us!”


   On Meir’s face was that certain expression he gets when I am being particularly exasperating.


    “And I bet you’re going to tell me that Hashem made our phone break just so that an Israeli repairman can light Chanukah candles.”


   I shrugged and he sighed as he went back to cleaning out the glass cups of the menorah.


   The technician, Roni, arrived at 4:15 while my husband was at shul.  I showed him the phone, and he began to work, when Meir walked in the door.


   “Time to light!” he called out.


    “He’s here,” I mouthed, pointing to the room the man was working in, and glancing at my husband nervously.


    A moment’s hesitation – then my wonderful husband walked right over to the technician, gave him a warm greeting, and asked him if he wanted to join us for Chanukah lighting.
  Roni was on his cell phone, but nodded and held up a hand, indicating that we should wait for him. I wasn’t sure if he thought he had to join us out of politeness, and felt a little bad about wasting his time when he probably had other jobs to get to after ours.


   We gathered around the menorahs, the six of us, and Roni.  We lit the candles, my children and my husband in turn. I noticed Roni listening attentively, an arm draped over his bare head, answering amen to the blessings.


    When we were almost finished, he thanked us and said, “You have no idea what a mitzvah you did.  I told myself this year I would light candles at least one night of Chanukah. But each night I came home too late. Tonight is the last night, and once again, I realized I would be home too late to light.  But now I was able to see it here!”


  Well, with such a revelation, there was really only one thing to do.  It was my husband’s turn to light one last set of candles by our front door.  Instead of lighting all of them himself my husband lit just the first candle and then waved Roni over.  Holding out the Shamash, he said, “B’Vakashah, please, finish the job for me!”


     I handed Roni a kippah that was hastily snatched from under my four-year-old’s baseball cap (it was a bit unnerving, though definitely heartwarming, watching Roni struggling to light the candles with one hand while covering his head with the other).  Roni lit the candles, beamed at us and went back to work.


    That was it.  He finished the job, we both thanked each other, and he left.  No grandiose ending here, no passionate declarations that from now on he’s going to make sure to light Chanukah candles every year.  Just a few simple Jews performing a simple mitzvah, in a land in which the extraordinary is born from the ordinary; where spiritual goals determine physical realities and a Jew’s need to light Chanukah candles can – just maybe − cause a telephone to break.


   (And yes, I did tell my husband “I told you so.”)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A Made-In-Israel Chanukah Story”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Russian S-300 surface-to-air missile systems deployed in a military exercise.
Russia to Deliver S-300 Missile System to Iran… Eventually
Latest Sections Stories
Road sign in Russian and Yiddish greeting visitors on the road just outside Birobidzhan. (photo by Ben G. Frank)

Birobidzhan railway station sign is the world’s only one spelling the town’s name in Yiddish letters

Ayelet Shaked

She’s seen as a poster child for The Jewish Home’s efforts to reach beyond its Orthodox base.

Teens-Twenties-logo

Girls don’t usually learn Gemara. Everyone knows that.

Lewis-052215-Jewish-Soldiers-logo

Mordechai and his men shared a strong mutual loyalty.

“Can I wear tefillin in the bathroom?” That was the question US Private Nuchim Lebensohn wrote to Mike Tress, president of the Agudath Israel Youth Council, in a letter dated November 18, 1942. Lebensohn was not your typical young American GI. Polish by birth, he was forty-three years old and married when he was drafted […]

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

More Articles from Gila Arnold
Rosenthal-053113-Main

He never boasted about his accomplishments, preferring to work hard in the background.

Last year on the seventh morning of Chanukah our phone stopped working. It wasn’t completely dead; it was still receiving calls and placing outgoing ones. But there was a funny kind of static on the line.

As readers of this column know, our aliyah experience has been studded with many “firsts.” Baruch Hashem, as of a few weeks ago, I can proudly add a new one to the list: my first Sabra.

All of us today benefit from the sacrifices and struggles of those who came before us, and we continue to battle so that our children should gain from our own triumphs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/a-made-in-israel-chanukah-story/2008/12/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: