The festival of Hanukkah spreads light and joy in the life of Jews. The festival of lights, as it is called, is celebrated to commemorate the victory of Maccabees, led by Judah, over the Hellenistic Syrians. The festival brings across the time to recall this heroic deed and re-cherish the memories. The main ritual of the festival is the lighting of the special Menorah or Hanukiah, the nine branched candle stand. Jews light one candle for each night of the festival and simultaneously proceed to eight on the final night. Music forms an integral part of Hanukkah celebration. People sing songs and organize grand feasts for the day. Poems are also recited during the festival.
Several poems have being written on Hanukkah, of which one of the ‘Hanukkah Harmonica’. It is a short poem written by Mimi Brodsky and is basically meant for the children. The poet speaks from a child’s perspective and narrates his experience of the celebration. The poem is written in candid language, with no use of scholarly words. This makes the poem intelligible to any common reader. Besides, it reflects the unadulterated innocence of a child and thus, makes it appeal higher. It is also loved by adults, who get a chance to re-live their childhood days through this poem. Read on to find the wonder of simplicity.
Last Hanukkah was the best -
Full of stories and of laughter,
Latkes, dreidels, candles bright,
Shiny gelt. And then right after
We opened our presents, neatly wrapped:
A book from mom, a shirt from dad,
And from my cousin Monica
A wonderful harmonica!
I learned to play it right away,
Took it with me everywhere -
Played horas after Hebrew school,
Played polkas for the purim fair,
Played mayim for our parents' night,
Played lullabies by campfire light.
I must take time out from this day
To write a note long overdue.
Here is what I want to say
(Don't you think that you would, too?)
"Dear cousin Monica,
I love the harmonica
You sent me last Hanukkah!"