Published December 13, 2017 by rochellewisoff

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

I couldn’t resist. Since my initial story is more of a discussion than a story, I thought I’d take the liberty of posting a second piece. And since it’s Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights I’ve edited a snippet from PLEASE SAY KADDISH FOR ME, my debut novel. In the scene, the Abromovich children tell the story of Hanukkah (sort of ) for their gentile guest. 

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


          Twelve-year-old Zelig, the quintessential scholar, pointed to each Hebrew letter on the dreidel.  “They stand for ‘A great miracle happened there,’ Professor Dietrich.”

          As Zelig’s younger sisters, Ruth and Rukhel, set the table, they fluttered around it chirping like excited pigeons. Ulrich could hardly tell where one left off and the other began. Even their voices were identical.

         “Hanukkah is all about the Macaroons’ victory over their enemies in ancient days…It was a miracle…The oil in the temple menorah burned for eight whole days…That’s why we light the candles for eight nights.”

           Zelig rolled his eyes. “It’s Maccabees not macaroons!”

Click to hear Mayim Bialik shed light on the holiday. 

Ulrich Dietrich © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

The Abromovich Children: B. Ruth, Rukhel, Front, left to right: Zelig, Velvil, Tuli
© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields


This is a dreidle I’ve had in my possession since I was four years old. Cheap plastic, but precious to me. The game of dreidle is one of the staples of Hanukkah. Each letter dictates whether or not the player takes a penny from the pot,tosses one in or takes them all.

91 comments on “LIGHT ONE CANDLE

  • I think being about Macaroons works for some people. And it makes sense since, according to the video you pointed us to, there is a lot of eating of unhealthy foods over those eight days of Hanukkah. Nice story. Kids do unintentionally say the funniest things at times 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • Happy Hanukkah! Love the macaroons! When I read that in the book I started to cackle and woke hubby. It’s just too precious! Going to make me some latke’s tomorrow! Hubby presented me with a Hanukkah gift last night, early. We usually do that last night. Hope you have a grand feast of it! Shalom, Dear Rochelle, Shalom!

    Liked by 2 people

  • Live and learn: I haven’t read enough about Hanukkah to know it celebrates the Maccabees’ victories. It’s been years since we read that bit of history — must reread it now.

    I really like way you’ve portrayed the girls, esp. the phrase “Ulrich could hardly tell where one left off and the other began.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • A great little story within a story. However, now I taste macaroons. Or is that macaroni? Anyway, a good lesson with a little humor. Life without humor is a dull life. Carry on m’luv. P. S., great art as well as writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  • I already love the characters in your short excerpt. I often wonder as to how good writers manage to say so much in 100 words. I hope I can read the book soon. I really love your paintings too. Beautiful! It must take so much to develop one character, let alone the many characters with distinctive traits, in a book. Awe-inspiring, indeed!
    A happy Hanukkah to you and all at your home, Rochelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Moon,

      I’m always happy when someone declares a desire to read my books. 😉 I do love these characters who, to me, are very real people. There’s something tangible about character development. At least for me, once a character was born, he or she seemed to write him or herself. I used to think that authors who said that were crazy until I experienced the same thing. Thank you so much for commenting on both my blogs today.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      Actually macarons aren’t the same as macaroons. Marcarons are an upscale cookie. They were just coming into vogue as I was going out of style at the bakery. 😉 Glad you liked my story and took the time out to say so.



      Liked by 1 person

  • What a sweet, warm tale! Love the mistaken Macaroons too! A spot on family dynamic, that groaning over the mistake. And thank you for sharing the tid bit about the driedle – I’ve heard the word before but didn’t know what it meant. Your plastic one clearly holds some special memories. A very happy Hanukkah to you and your family

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      I still remember when my eldest son was maybe 6 or 7 and came home from school to inform me that in some countries fish eyes were considered a great delicatessen. 😀 As Art Linkletter wrote over half a century ago, “kids say the darndest things.” Thank you for indulging me twice today. ❤



      Liked by 1 person

      • When Iain was maybe 2, he’d watch Toy story. Where all other kids would be saying “To infinity and beyond!”, he’d say “You cup of swine!” Instead of “You uncultured swine” (Mr. Potato Head to Hamm)


  • I love the descriptions of the sisters Ruth and Rukhel. They’re interesting characters. I’ll confess I’d never looked up the meaning of the Menorah. As always it’s fun to learn from you during your stories. The Macaroon mixup was hilarious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Susan,

      I’m glad liked that last line. It’s always a challenge when distilling a book excerpt into a flash fiction to find the best place to end. And thank you for indulging me not once, but twice. 😉




  • I love the image of the kids zooming around setting the table. And now I know what a “dreidel” is. I was about to Google “Macaroons”, wondering if the biscuit was named after an ancient people but didn’t need to 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochelle

    How lovely to be re-aquainted with Please Say Kaddish For Me – an old friend I never want to say goodbye to.

    This was my favourite simile in your flash.

    …they fluttered around it chirping like excited pigeons.



    P.S. I hope I am not too late to wish you happy Hanukkah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kelvin,

      I loved the twins…all these children really. Thank you for your kind words. And today is the fifth day of Hanukkah…sixth candle is lit tonight. The Jewish day begins at sundown. So, you’re most definitely not too late to wish me a happy Hanukkah. 😀 Thank you.




  • “The Macaroons” works well for me 🙂 Reminds me of the time in school when a fellow student was reading out a story which involved a reference to the ‘The Kaaba’. Must have been close to lunch (and he loved his food) he read it out as ‘kebab’. He was reminded of this slip long after it had happened and ultimately it passed into schoolboy’s lore.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Hehehe ahh children, gotta love them, and their quirkiness.
    we had neighbor kids over today, we were making the gingerbread pieces for our ginger verse, and, I was running late, I was in my Shinto robes after performing a funeral for an elder I had met on my journey to becoming priestess, thankfully, my aunt and mom had started the baking process for me and I had already made all of the dough the night before.. One of the little girls looks at me, my robes, and then around my house, She says, “sin, why is your house full of Christmas if you aren’t allowed to celebrate it?”
    I said, ” I am free to celebrate anything I choose, who said that?”
    “I read online that Shintos don’t celebrate Christmas.” We don’t have a specific Christmas holiday like Christians or Jewish people, or many other religions do.. but it doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to celebrate Christmas…”
    She let out this really long, frustrated sigh followed by her little sister”ugh! Relics are soooo confusing.”

    I loved this though, I think, I must find it and read it soon 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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