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Arts & Culture

Hanukkah Lights: 2020

Our annual <em>Hanukkah Lights </em>celebrates stories of the season.
Our annual <em>Hanukkah Lights </em>celebrates stories of the season.

Hanukkah is a time to share light, miracles and faith. It's been a difficult year and these stories will reflect that. They're darker than usual. But we hope the miracle of Hanukkah casts its light through these stories. We think the tales will resonate with you because of their mixture of sadness and strength.

Hear original stories from authors Erica Landis, Magin LaSov Gregg, Anna Megdell, Mikhal Weiner and Lara Pasternak Robicheaux. Listen to the full special above or hear individual stories below.

Erica Landis wrote "We Became Jewish Again."
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Erica Landis started her writing career in Linden, N.J., in Mrs. Kelly's second-grade class with a tear-jerking essay about a No. 2 pencil. Her writing showcases the power of humor, resilience and honesty. Her work has appeared in the Huffington Postand community sites like Scary Mommy, Today'sParenting Team, and many others. In 2018, she was chosen by Good Housekeeping for their annual "50 at 50 Women" for her blog, Atop The Ferris Wheel. Follow her on Facebook here.

"We Became Jewish Again" tells the story of a family who finds a resurgence of faith after tragedy.

Magin LaSov Gregg wrote "Unexpected Gifts."
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Magin LaSov Gregg lives, writes, and teaches in Frederick, Md. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, the Dallas Morning News, and many other venues. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she's writing a memoir about love, loss, and going forth.

In the essay "Unexpected Gifts," a daughter grieving the loss of her mother welcomes a surprise new companion into her life.

Anna Megdell wrote "For The Days To Be Long Again."
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Anna Megdell is a writer living in Ann Arbor, Mich. She received an MFA in fiction from the University of Tennessee. Her writing appears in the Los Angeles Review, Entropy, and Midwestern Gothic. She works at the University of Michigan, where she writes about the natural sciences for the College of LSA.

"For The Days To Be Long Again" follows a woman in quarantine and her search for a sense of community through Hanukkah rituals.

Mikhal Weiner wrote "Gas Station Hanukkah."
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Mikhal Weiner is a writer and musician, originally from Israel, currently working and living in Brooklyn with her wife and son. She's written op-eds, profiles, music reviews and more for local and national publications such as Newsweek, Lilith, GO, and more.

In "Gas Station Hanukkah," one woman recounts memories of Hanukkah's past on a lonely road one blustery winter night.

Lara Pasternak Robicheaux wrote "Two Feelings At The Same Time."
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Lara Pasternak Robicheaux draws inspiration for her short stories, plays and songs from her family and everyday life. She is a proud educator, having taught in the classroom and worked as a curriculum writer for more than 10 years. Robicheaux currently serves as the director of education for Kepler STEM School outside Austin, Texas. She was born in New York and now lives in St. Paul, Minn., with her beloved family.

Our final story, "Two Feelings At The Same Time," is one of food, family and the healing magic of keeping tradition alive.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


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