A Season of Miracles
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by Ed Goldberg
Category: Historical Fiction
Description: Sammy Itzkowitz was born on Christmas in a hole in the ground, under the home of a brave Polish family who hid his Jewish family from the Nazis. After coming to Brooklyn at war's end, Sammy awaits with eager anticipation the arrival of the holidays: his birthday, Hanukkah and Christmas. He is dismayed to discover what he sees as indifference to the true meaning of Christmas, and ignorance of Hanukkah in America. After a frustrating incident at school, he stages a shocking protest to make people focus on his favorite time of the year for the real reasons the holidays exist. He becomes a little boy on a moral crusade. Only an intervention by his favorite Brooklyn Dodger hero can possibly save the day.
eBook Publisher: Uncial Press, 2010
eBookwise Release Date: December 2010
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [33 KB]
Reading time: 17-24 min.
This was the capper to the most spectacular day in Sammy's life, bigger than emerging from the root cellar, bigger than the Boy Scout knife, bigger even than the first sight of the Statue of Liberty. It wasn't until later that night, just before Sammy dozed off in a state of near-bliss, that something began to gnaw at him. He pushed it out of his mind, but slept restlessly in and out of strange dreams.
The next day, he understood. Nowhere, in no place, was there a display for Hanukkah. Santas and manger scenes, trees and wreaths, reindeer and wise men by the dozen. No menorahs, no silver paper "Happy Hanukkah" signs, no evidence that such a holiday existed. Christmas carols were everywhere. Kids sang them on the streets, radio stations played them, people in grocery stores hummed them.
But where were the heroic songs about Judah Maccabee and his brothers, the jolly songs about the games and good little children? It was almost as if there were no Jews in the world at all. Maybe that is what that wise-guy sailor meant on the boat. This is what was waiting for us. We have become invisible, insignificant, swallowed up.
And more. Sammy had always associated Christmas with a special feeling, complicated, tied up with a burst of joy in a dark place. With the GIs in the displaced persons camp, it had been the same, joy lighting up out of despair. The feelings he had felt in his hole in the ground, and in the camp, had nothing to do with presents or fancy decorations, or huge trees. The most wonderful tree he had ever seen was a scrawny pine in a barracks, little candles dancing light among the branches. The light on the faces of the American soldiers, far from home and lonely, singing their carols in the midst of the human wreckage of war, this light was more than all the lights on Fifth Avenue, and all the mechanical elves in the world.
In magical America, there was no magic in Christmas. Amidst all the lights, there was no light in people's faces.