having grown my children in a mostly atheist household (albeit surrounded by saints and buddhas and crucifix and kuan yin) i find my daughter glomming on to any little piece of religion she can. she has already announced that she is converting to judaism (she's christened episcopal) and can sing the baruch adonai songs along with everyone else while the maharishi and i just stand their smiling simply (my smile slightly more enthusiastic than his).
we ate poached salmon, latkes with sour cream and homemade apple sauce and jelly donuts in a house filled with bowls of persimmons and satsumas and silver bowls of nuts and candy. candlelight, grandmothers, tiny babies (let's hear it for nora, who's 1 on saturday), husbands and wives and teenagers and boys watching the football game and even hanukah music (the most excellent soundtrack from dead presidents). glasses of red wine (an unusual red sancerre) were handed around, fizzy cranberry juice with large cubes of ice, sippy bottles. we discussed the merits of living in rome, especially in white truffle season, the many uses of the potato and the cultural differences between israelis and americans (an ongoing dialog between me and the rabbi's sister).
mr & mrs l's hanukah candles
it's the traditions we miss, the traditions that we yearn for. "one candle can light the whole world" said rabbi sharon. "that's what i hoped you'd say" said mr l. so did i. that's what i hoped someone would say.