It was a day before Hanukkah, and I was on my hands and knees, saying to myself, "If you were a menorah, where would you be?" This was a risky thing to do, given that I was unsure how I would get up, but I was determined to look in all of the usual places.
I found the candles and the blue and white napkins decorated with dreidels and stars, and even the Happy Hanukkah banner, which, courtesy of Meghan, will be replaced this year with a Happy Thanksgivukkuh banner. I also knew where to find our traditional Thanksgiving table decoration – the tiny turkey that Katie made many moons ago out of an upside-down clay pot, pipe cleaners and construction paper. But no menorah.
So with a day to go, I went hunting. My first stop, the Yiddish Book Center, turned up only children's menorahs. Since I was heading down to the Longmeadow area anyway, I went to the gift shop at Temple Beth El in Springfield. They didn't have the traditional one I wanted, but it was so last-minute that I almost bought a more modern menorah modeled after the one in front of the Knesset in Israel.
Across the street at Sinai Temple, I found a curiosity: a musical menorah that played "Rock of Ages." It reminded me of our family gatherings in New Jersey when we used to sing that song in unison. I was relieved when my eyes settled on one that was just right, nothing fancy and nothing funny.
I put it on the table and, miracle of miracles, the candles stayed in without wobbling. We lit the first one tonight.
My aches and pains are still unresolved, but at this moment I am putting them aside to say Happy Thanksgiving/Thanksgivukkah to all, and let us proceed to celebrate all of our blessings!
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