The 8 blogs of Chanukah. Each night a new blog from the community of Congregation B'nai Israel.
Tonight, the fourth blog of Chanukah is brought to you by Jon Sonneborn. Jon and his wife, Cleo, are long-time members of B'nai Israel. They have three grown children, Samuel, Jonathan, and Jessica. Jon has gifted B'nai Israel with his talent for creative writing on many occasions, such as lyrics for songs, contemplative poems for the High Holydays, and now, with a thought-provoking short story for Chanukah.
“I’m tired,” Benny thought as he turned away from the kids and stood there a moment, before starting down the hall.
“Where are you Lynn?”
She was in the kitchen, playing with the oil for the latkes, and didn’t hear him.
“And don’t touch those damn matches, Sam.” His voice was angry and loud and he knew it carried back to the family room. Benny had logged online at his desk when he heard Ray-Lee whimpering.
“Oh G-d, it never ends.” He got up abruptly to rush back.
Sam was patting his sister’s hair. “It’s all right Tiger,” he whispered. Ray-Lee shook her teary face.
“Are you bothering her?”
Sam shook his head, and Benny was surprised to hear his five year-old daughter speak up. “It isn’t Sammy. He isn’t cross on the first night of Chanukah.”
Benny closed his eyes. So that’s why Sam had the matches. He turned and saw the menorah on the mantel, then took a deep breath.
Ray-Lee stopped crying. Sam looked up at his dad and waited, just as their mother walked into the room.
“You’re just in time,” she said.
“Maybe not, Lynn.”
She looked at him quizzically.
“Can you all wait right here, just for a moment? I’ve got to go in and change.”
“You look fine.” But Benny smiled and repeated, “I’ve got to go in and change.”
He closed the bathroom door, threw some water on his face and looked hard at his reflection. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
Which is when he decided, at that very moment; the light coming from somewhere deep inside the mirror.
As they lit the candles that first night of Chanukah, Benny watched over Sammy and Ray-Lee and Lynn and hoped that the rededication had come in time.