Hanukkah booklet

This booklet from the JMG collections was published by the Jewish National Fund of Thessaloniki in 1938 to be distributed to the children of the community and instruct them on the history and meaning of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. It contains the following poems:


(translated from Hebrew)

Why, dear father, the dim lamps
are you lighting tonight? Why
are you chanting sweet psalms
and telling stories of old?

Why are you passing around, dear mother,
Well-made sweet treats?
Why are you bringing us countless gifts,
Dear, good uncle, from afar?

– My children, it is “Hannukkah”
A holiday of old, tonight,
And we honor it reverently
As our God has asked us to do.


by I. FISCHMAN (translated from Hebrew)

Pure oil I have purchased
And white wicks I have threaded
And I lit the hannukiyiot.
Their light trembling and festive,
The lamps of our God
And the miracle of the Hasmoneans!

Outside strong winds are blowing!
The lamps burn bright inside!
Depart, evil winds!
Because, still oil they burn
and all too sweetly they shine
the lamps of the Hasmoneans.

© The Jewish Museum of Greece