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ChildrensPictureBook.info Review

By the Hanukkah Light
By Sheldon Oberman
Illustrator Neil Waldman
Publisher Boyds Mills Press

As Grandpa and Rachel prepare the Hanukkah (candleholder used at Hanukkah) and gather their family to light the first candle of Hanukkah, Grandpa tells the story of the miracle of Hanukkah. The book gives one a sense of being invited into an intimate family celebration and the delicately lit pictures reinforce this feeling. Grandpa tells us of the Macabees' struggle to free Israel and how, once they were victorious, the oil in the newly rekindled lamp lasted for seven days longer than it should have so that the light of the Great Lamp would not go out. Answering his grandchildren's questions about past Hanukkahs when he was boy leads him to tell of a time when his family could not follow tradition and put the Hanukkiah in the window for all to see and remember. He remembers how they were afraid because of persecution. A great war was fought in which he joined as a soldier and tried to be brave like the Macabees. As peace finally came, he discovered the old family Hanukkiah in the rubble of his old family home. No longer afraid to place the Hanukkiah in the window, he has Rachel light the first candle and sing the blessings for the first night of Hanukkah.

Jewish homeschoolers will find this a welcome addition to their collection of religious picture books. Non-Jewish homeschoolers will benefit from a loving telling of the Hanukkah celebration and the intimate portrait of Jewish family life the book portrays.


By the Hanukkah Light

More Hanukkah Book Reviews

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