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A CHANUKAH MIRACLE
By Morah Leah
Many years ago, in the Old City of Jerusalem,
lived a poor but happy Jewish family.
The father, Reb Yitzchak, was a teacher of young children, and he and his wife, Hana Leah, had four daughters - Rivke, Chaya, Devorah and Shoshana.
Every year, on the first night of Chanukah,
Reb Yitchak would light the first Chanukah candle,
say the blessings, and sing “Hanerot Hallelu”.
Then he would give each of his daughters Chanukah gelt (a shiny coin) and a sufgania (doughnut),
fried in oil and filled with jelly or cream.
As the girls ate happily, the family would gaze at the flickering flame of the first candle.
After that, the girls would spin dreidels
while their mother fried delicious potato latkes
(from the recipe that her own mother had given her).
But this year, Reb Yitzchak was worried. “Hana Leah,” he said to his wife as she grated the potatoes,
“with help from above, I was able to buy oil and wicks for all eight days of Chanukah, but I have no coins left to give the girls Chanukah gelt. To make matters worse, I have only enough to buy two doughnuts, and we have four daughters!”
“So, what’s the problem?” asked Hana Leah.
“We are still able to fulfill the mitzvah of Chanukah!
Do we not have oil to light the candles and in which to fry the potato latkes?
The girls can cut the two doughnuts in half
to make four pieces!”
“My dear, you are right!” exclaimed Reb Yitzchak.
He called his four daughters. “My darling daughters,
I have only two coins to give you to buy doughnuts, so you will have to share this year,”
He handed the money to his eldest daughter, Rivke.
“Now, go to the market.”
The girls put on their coats and scarves.
The snow was falling lightly as they headed for the market. The excitement of Erev Chanukah filled the air!
In the outdoor market, stalls were filled with oranges, chocolate gelt, colorful candles and Chanukah oil. Peddlers called out their wares,
“Sufganiot! Sufganiot! Fresh from the oven, sufganiot!”
"Oh, such a variety!" thought the girls.
They gazed at the doughnuts – strawberry jelly with powdered sugar, vanilla cream, frosted pink
and chocolate with sprinkles!
“We have two coins, so we can pick two,” they thought,
“but which ones to buy?”
Just then, an old woman touched Rivke’s sleeve.
“Please, give to a poor mother,” she begged.
“I have eight hungry children at home.”
Rivke looked at Chaya,
Chaya looked at Devorah,
Devorah looked at Shoshana,
and Shoshana looked at Rivke.
“We must help the eight hungry children,” the little girls agreed. “We can buy one doughnut for ourselves, and split it into four pieces!”
Rivke gave the poor woman one of the coins.
“Bless you,” the woman said,
“May you be rewarded for your mitzvah!”
The girls picked the biggest doughnut they could find and then hurried home.
That night, the family gathered around the Chanukah lamp as Reb Yitzchak lit the shamash and sang the Chanukah blessings.
He made the special She-heh-ki-a-nu blessing,
lit the first candle of Chanukah and everyone sang “Hanerot Hallelu”.
As Reb Yitzchak and his wife
watched the flickering candle,
the girls gathered together to cut their doughnut into four equal pieces. “Oh!” Rivke exclaimed,
“There’s something hard in the middle!”
All four girls looked, and, sure enough, there was something hard and shiny in the middle of their doughnut!
“Ima, Abba, look, it’s a gold coin!” they exclaimed.
Reb Yitzchak could not believe his eyes!
He examined the gold coin and pronounced,
“A great miracle happened here! G-d has given you Chanukah gelt in the merit of your good deed.
Now you can give even more charity to the poor and eat doughnuts all eight days of Chanukah! ”
NES GADOL HAYA PO
A GREAT MIRACLE HAPPENED HERE!