Monday, December 15, 2008

December Stories and Songs, Part 15

As I mentioned at the beginning of the month, the stories and songs I'm sharing here were actually part of Advent 2006. So today's (tonight's) reading and songs are for the first night of Chanukah, which was December 15 that year, but this year is not until December 21. Since I spent four years at a "non-sectarian, Jewish-sponsored" university, we usually take note of Chanukah by listening to some stories and songs, making latkes, and eating some chocolate Chanukah gelt. The Peddler's Gift by Maxine Rose Schur is a fine Chanukah story, set in an Eastern European shtetl. It's available primarily used and in libraries. For it, Ms. Schur won the Sydney Taylor Award, given in honor of the author of the All-of-a-Kind Family books, which were favorites for reading aloud in our family.

Three Chanukah songs, because I couldn't decide -- the first is a newer one, Chanukah Blessings by the Barenaked Ladies, a Canadian group. Here's a link to YouTube if you don't have their wonderful album, Barenaked for the Holidays.
Then the first Chanukah song I learned, Chanukah Oi Chanukah, and the first one my children learned, Drey Zikh, Dreydele (I Have a Little Dreidel), both sung by Western Wind on the CD Chanukkah, featuring Theodore Bikel. Another way to hear some of Western Wind's Chanukah songs, along with other tales and information about the holiday, is to listen to this program on WGBH's audio archives. And in case you're a Trekkie, this program features Leonard Nimoy.

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