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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chanukah: Doing It in Public



Chanukah Candelabra in Arched Window © 2014 by Heddy Abramowitz
It was a revelation to me when I got to Israel that part of Chanukah celebrations was the public display of the miracle of the holiday. I grew up in a Jewish home, one of very few, in an overwhelmingly Christian southern Maryland suburb, close to the border of Washington, D.C. We just didn't do that.

Moreover, my parents were Holocaust survivors. We didn't place our Chanukah menora in the wide bay window on the street-side. We lit our candles on the formica kitchen table and never thought twice about it. If I would have given it any pause at all, I would probably think it was for the same reason that we used the fireplace only occasionally - we didn't want to go messing up the paint job with smoke. Drawing attention to our Jewishness was probably the last thing my parents would be interested in. And I get it. Now.

Blessings and Blossoms, © 2014 by Heddy Abramowitz
So it was something of a whole new world to observe my first Chanukah in Jerusalem, where lighting candles in the most street-facing window is the common practice. It is magniv (awesome) to see candles flickering in windows throughout the week wherever Jews live. But, I don't take it for granted.
Razel Family and Guests, Nachlaot © 2014 by Heddy Abramowitz


In my own neighborhood in the Jewish Quarter, we have throngs of groups that come to visit as soon as night descends to see the candles amongst the Jewish Quarter alleys, which I've written about here and here. It is a reminder to me how special it is to live where I do and that I did not always have this life.

Lights and Laundry © 2014 by Heddy Abramowitz

My studio is in another one of Jerusalem's many picturesque locations, Nachlaot. Very close to the thriving (and increasingly yuppified) outdoor market Mahane Yehuda, tour groups and individuals come from far and wide for the special charms of its own alleyways and eclectic residents. Here are some highlights from my wanderings during the last night of Chanukah a year ago in Nachlaot.
Collector's Chanukiot Display © 2014 by Heddy Abramowitz

It also reminds me that miracles happened then and do in our times as well. So join me in this virtual walk through Nachlaot celebrating Chanukah. Chanukah Sameach.

Family Lights © 2014 by Heddy Abramowitz
Chanukah Lights in the Alleyway © 2014 by Heddy Abramowitz

Chanukah Lamps Lit at Doorways © 2014 by Heddy Abramowitz

This was originally published on the Times of Israel here or:

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/chanukah-doing-it-in-public/

2 comments:

  1. I love your pictures of the chanukiot in nahlaot, Heddy! Thanks for sharing those magical moments with us.

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    1. Glad you like them Shari, something about the stones and the reflected light transform the streets after dark.

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