It’s beginning to look a lot like Chanukah

Everywhere you go

Take a look at the latkes fry, I’m winning all the gelt tonight

When the dreidels spin to and fro


Chanukah is my favorite time of the year.

As a child, it was all about the gifts and the gelt. The first few nights were always the best as my family usually front-loaded the eight-night gift giving schedule with the most expensive (and, therefore, most desired) presents. On the first night of Chanukah, I might have received a new video game console or baseball bat. But by the eighth night, since my parents were both teachers, I would usually receive a book, pens, or pencils.

But I always tried to be grateful, no matter how small the price tag. And I still do, even more so today as my age and experience have provided me with perspective.

This year, I am grateful that the speaker system in our office building has not yet started playing Christmas music.

I am grateful for Atlanta sports teams, even though the Falcons and Hawks are two of the most frustrating teams to root for.

But more importantly, I am grateful that – at the time of this writing – dozens of hostages have been safely returned to their families in Israel and across the world.

I am so ready for this war to end. I have been a journalist for 13 years but had never covered a war before. It’s exhausting – both physically and emotionally. But we press on, every day hoping for good news and signs that the conflict may be resolved soon; even though, in our hearts, we know that news is still far from breaking.

So, until then, we pray. We light the menorah, spin our dreidel, and soak up the love of the oil in each and every latke. Am Yisrael Chai.

Happy Chanukah.


Published November 29, 2023, by Sasha Heller, the Associate Editor and Web Editor for the Atlanta Jewish Times.