Fic­tion

The City of Light

  • From the Publisher
January 1, 2013

In 2014 Theodore Bikel wrote a Hanukkah sto­ry The City of Light.” It was read aloud on NPR’s Hanukkah Lights by Susan Stam­berg and Mur­ray Hor­witz. It now appears for the first time as an illus­trat­ed book in time for Hanukkah 2019. In a new and expand­ed ver­sion with a fore­word glos­sary and notes by Aimee Gins­burg Bikel, the book is for all read­ers ages 10 and up. Set in Vien­na dur­ing Kristall­nacht The Night of Bro­ken Glass,’ the sto­ry fol­lows a young Jew­ish boy strolling through Vien­na wit­ness­ing acts of anti-Semi­tism dur­ing the hol­i­day of Hanukkah. At night, he dreams of a super­hero Judah Mac­cabee defend­ing Vienna’s Jews. When he awakes and real­izes there will be no Mac­cabean res­cue, he weeps. Years pass, the boy, now an old man, returns to Vien­na and sees the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty and the Tem­ple are restored. He looks for the eter­nal light in his Tem­ple and can’t find it. Then sud­den­ly it becomes clear to him: The light was there all the time it was in his own heart.’

Discussion Questions