New essay in Beyond Walls - and a chance to learn with me next summer!
Worth reading (on Chanukah)

Three from the vaults - old Chanukah photos

For #throwbackthursday, here are three old Chanukah photos. The first two of these are photographs of me with my middle brother.


This one's about 30 years old. If you look closely you can see my homemade Chanukah decorations taped to the framed Calder print on the rear wall. I think this was taken the year that my parents were in Kenya over Chanukah, traveling with a friend who was a hematologist and whose work frequently took him to Nairobi. My parents traveled with a tiny chanukiyah which held birthday candles, and arranged for me to celebrate Chanukah with different family members on different nights.



And this one's from 1988. My bat mitzvah took place on Shabbat Chanukah, so my brother -- who is a woodworker in his spare time -- made this beautiful chanukiyah which holds twelve-inch tapers. We lit it at my bat mitzvah, and my parents used it for many years thereafter. People in Texas like to joke that everything is bigger there; this chanukiyah definitely fits that bill.

(That same brother is responsible for the giant mahogany dreidel which I brought to Massachusetts during my last year of college. I remember placing it on the coffee table in the house I shared with several friends that year. When I came back, one of my housemates held the dreidel reverently in his hands. He looked up at me and without missing a beat said "very large Jews have been here!")


While I'm indulging in Chanukah remembrances, I want to honor the fact that today is my maternal grandfather Eppie's 18th yahrzeit. (Here is a post I shared about him ten years ago on this Hebrew date.) This photograph was staged on the day before my bat mitzvah, which was during Chanukah - you can see my father on one side, my grandfather Eppie z"l on the other, handing the Torah to me.

I hope that your Chanukah continues to be joyous and bright!