Taking place every year on the 25th of Kislev, Hanukkah commemorates the story of Jewish persecution at the hands of the Syrian despot Antiochus, who made observance of Judaism a capital offense, regularly slaughtered Jews, and made it a point to desecrate the Temple.
A man named Mattathias and his sons formed a band of rebels, the Maccabees, and after three years of fighting they eventually ousted the Syrians.
When they saw the state of the Temple, the warriors openly wept and went about ritually cleaning it for use again. Tradition tells us there was enough oil to light the great Menorah for one night, but miraculously, it lasted eight days – enough time to manufacture more ritual oil. In celebration (and because of the holiday’s proximity to a larger American holiday) the holiday has grown in prominence.
We eat latkes, spin dreidels, and put our menorah in the windows, quietly shining amid the more conspicuous holiday lights of our neighbors.
In honor of Hanukkah starting this evening, it seemed fitting to address miracles, specifically the miracle of the right book, just as it is needed. Wouldn’t you consider it miraculous when the formation of a thought in a stranger’s head is written down, then survives the publishing process to be made into a book, which gets purchased by your local library, which a friendly librarian delivers to your hands at the right time to resonate with the deepest needs of your current life? Well, now. I certainly would.
With that in mind, I decided to visit books that were a miracle in my life. I’ve read a lot, even before I became a professional bookslinger, so there were oodles to choose from. This listing is not necessarily the best book ever written on a theme or a subject (though most are quite good), but they were miracles in that they came at just the right time in my life and made a lasting impact. Read More..