Author: Nissan Mindel
Illustrated By: Eli Toron & Shmuel Graybar
What do a partisan lumberjack who plays the fiddle, Duenna, the half crazed old Spanish maidservant, Ovadiah, an eleven year old boy from a wealthy Hellenist family have in common with an American Jewish Army Chaplain, and Miriam who never lit Chanukah candles?
While the flames of the Chanukah candles draw your soul into the history of our eternal survival, these Chanukah tales will light up your heart - travel across the world and through the centuries with stories of bravery, loyalty, family sacrifice, brotherly love, and most of all...miracles!
"This collection of eight inspiring Chanukah stories takes us on a journey in time and space, from Spain under the Spanish inquisition to a small village in Hungary under the Nazi occupation; from the Gestapo headquarters in Brussels, Belgium to a palace overlooking the Guadalquivir River; from Crohnheim, Germany during the time of the crusades, to Jerusalem during the time of Judah the Maccabee; from an American Army camp in Germany toward the end of World War II to an American Jewish home at the end of the twentieth century.
Each of the eight stories in this delightful volume celebrates a victory of the spirit. On each page we encounter individuals who exemplify the ideals for which the Maccabees so bravely fought.
I was awed by the sheer guts of Reb Shmelke, the beloved rabbi of Zavolov, who entertains a group of Nazi soldiers to save his community from certain death. I was inspired by the aristocratic widow, Donna Rachela del Modiglia, who, spurned by Queen Isabelle, succeeds in bringing her family to safety under the very nose the chief inquisitor, Thomas de Torquemada and his fanatical monks.
Eight Chanukah Tales is packed with adventure. Will Fernandez the monk turn his back on everything he was taught to save his sister from being burned at the stake? Will Red Jonathan, the apostate, succeed with his nefarious plan?
I met brave young girls, such as quiet and reserved Fay who saves the Belgian underground and three young Jewish children from the Gestapo; and little Miriam who unites her family with her desire to light the Chanukah menorah.
The story of Chanukah came to life as I read about Obadia`s father, who spurned the Hellenists to join the Maccabees. Just as the Jews of old cleaned the Holy Temple in Jerusalem of pagan idols, the soldiers of the Ninth platoon clean a Jewish synagogue in Germany that the Nazis had turned into a stable.
The late Nissan Mindel, editor of Talks and Tales for forty eight years, authored dozens of books, many which have become modern-day classics. The stories in Eight Chanukah Tales are being published for the first time in illustrated book form.
Eight Chanukah Tales is sure to become an all-time favorite and is the perfect Chanukah gift to give to the young and to the young at heart."
--Reviewed by Debbie Shapiro
"Brings to life the power of Jewish faith and self-sacrifice in an easily digestible format for young readers."
Dovid Zaklikowski, Chabad.org