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Hanukkah Lights 2022

Lit candles in a menorah with a women working in the kitchen in the background, commonly used during the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah.
Michele Westmorland
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Getty Images

Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabees' victory over the Greeks and the rededication of the Second Temple. The centerpiece of the Hanukkah celebration is the menorah, and it is a time of year to celebrate love, family and tradition.

For the 32nd anniversary of Hanukkah Lights, Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz revisit old favorites from authors Tova Mirvis, Edud Havazelet, Rebecca O'Connell and Farideh Goldin and read a new story by Nancy Luberoff. Listen to the full special above or hear individual stories below.

Tova Mirvis is the author of "Potatoes"
/ Courtesy of the author
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Courtesy of the author
Tova Mirvis is the author of "Potatoes"

Tova Mirvis is the author of The Book of Separation, a memoir, which was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and was excerpted in the New York Times' Modern Love column. She has also written three novels, Visible City, The Outside World, and The Ladies Auxiliary, which was a national bestseller. Her essays have appeared in various anthologies and newspapers, including The Boston Globe Magazine, Real Simple and Psychology Today. She lives in Newton, Mass.

In "Potatoes," a lonely and alienated immigrant finds hope for the future and a sense of belonging while searching for potatoes for her family's Hanukkah latkes.

Nancy Luberoff lives in Chapel Hill, N.C., and has worked and volunteered in the Jewish community for most of her life. She was the founding director of Hillel at Elon University and currently serves as co-president of a small Jewish cemetery. She enjoys writing stories about her family, especially her mother, Renee Luberoff.

"54 Menorahs" is about one woman's sizable and eccentric menorah collection and its meaningful legacy.

Ehud Havazelet
/ Courtesy of the author
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Courtesy of the author
Ehud Havazelet

Ehud Havazelet (1955-2015) was the author of two story collections and the novel Bearing the Body. He was awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim, Whiting and Rockefeller foundations, and taught in the creative writing program at the University of Oregon.

In "Looking In: A Holiday Story," a confused college student dreads his family's Hanukkah celebration until an unlikely encounter in Christmas-obsessed Manhattan changes his perspective.

Rebecca O'Connell
/ Courtesy of the author
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Courtesy of the author
Rebecca O'Connell

Rebecca O'Connell is the author of The Baby Goes Beep, Baby Parade, Baby Party and many other children's books. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pa.

In "Geek Week," two cousins meet for the first time during Hanukkah at a high school science camp after a family rift has kept them apart.

Farideh Goldin
/ Courtesy of the author
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Courtesy of the author
Farideh Goldin

Farideh Dayanim Goldin was born in Shiraz, Iran, where she grew up in a Muslim neighborhood. She is the author of two memoirs, Wedding Song: Memoirs of an Iranian Jewish Woman and Leaving Iran: Between Migration and Exile. She was director of the Institute for Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding at Old Dominion University, where she taught creative writing and literature. She lives in Norfolk, Va.

In "My Hanukkah Gift," a precious gift leads to the reunion of old friends and a reconciliation of ancient cultures.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.