Chanukah, Music and Memories

toothacheWell I may have found an inadvertent way to lose the extra pounds I put on… its called a massive toothache. I know this is not the ideal or healthy way to lose the weight, but I honestly cant bear eating anything right now. I don’t seem to be able to put anything remotely solid in my mouth, and when anything at all goes near the lower left side I see stars. Far more painful then these post surgery toes. Its like the entire left side of my face hurts. Now, I absolutely hate the dentist – petrified to be exact. On every level the dentist is terrifying. The sounds, the smells, the pain, the bill… I know I need to go and an appointment has been made. But I am really scared. I see the dentist on Monday.

Today I mulled over a playlist for our Chanukah dinner. It brought back a lot of memories. The Hebrew music feels like it is so much a part of who I am, but at the same time like part of another lifetime. A particular song came flooding back in. I remember walking up the stairs of the YU girls dormitory, and hearing three or more beautiful voices harmonizing together. I remember that I wanted so much to be a part of that, but when I walked by the music stopped. It happened more than once so then when I heard it I would stop where I was on the stairs just to listen. I can only remember part of the song now, but it’s a song rattled with emotion. It reminds me of how separate I felt for so many years, detached and afraid of saying the wrong thing to the wrong person.

Those fears all came back a few weeks ago when the New York Times journalist contacted me. Who do I trust? How can I be sure people are who they say they are? They weren’t in the past. The web of lies and betrayal grew and grew. Now as an adult having generalized anxiety disorder these memories feed my fears, and stir up that familiar paranoia.

Classic-Latkes-Applesauce-2But my playlist is complete for the most part, and I am looking forward to sharing it with all my friends who are so curious and have never attended a Chanukah celebration. I’ll be finalizing the menu over the weekend and getting the requisite groceries. I will prepare a fairly traditional meal with latkes, maybe some schnitzel and other fried treats. I am going to see if I can find a gluten free recipe for jelly doughnuts (traditional Chanukah treat – sufganiyot in Hebrew). Who knows if I will be able to eat anything given that the dinner is the day after the dentist!2012-12-06-sufganiyot-586x322

We will all light menorahs, play dreidel, eat latkes and maybe I’ll teach them a song. The song I’d like to teach is a song about miracles in general. This song is sung on many Jewish holidays as many celebrate miraculous events. Maybe a YouTube video is in our future!

Al Hanissim – עַל הַנִּסִּים

Al hanissim, v’al hapurkan, v’al hag’vurot v’al hat’tshuot v’al hamilchamot sh’asita lavoteinu bayamim hahem baz’man hazeh. עַל הַנִּסִּים, וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן, וְעַל הַגְּבוּרוֹת, וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעוֹת, וְעַל הַמִּלְחָמוֹת, שֶׁעָשִֽׂיתָ לַאֲבוֹתֽינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה.

Al Hanissim – Pronunciation Guide (Transliteration):

Ahl hah-nee-seem vih-ahl hah-poor-kahn
vih-ahl hah-g,voo- rote vih-ahl hah- t’shoo- oat
vih-ahl hah-meel-chah- moht sheh-ah-see-tah lah-voh-tay-noo
bah- yah-meem hah- hAYm bah- zmahn hah- zeh


(We thank you) For the miracles, and for the victory
For the wonders and for the deliverances,
And for the wars (Which) You did for our ancestors In those days at this time.

Here is a wonderful version that I love sung a cappella.


One Comments

  • Becky Young

    December 5, 2015

    I so feel your pain about the dentist, which is why my teeth are no good. I went to a periodontist for a long, long time – he is not in practice anymore. I do not even sign papers without drugs. LOL. No, honestly, I have to have sedation dentistry. I am more than terrified, and I had a wonderful, kind dentist as a child. So far, I am avoiding it but the time is near when I HAVE to go. 🙁 This mouth is not a pretty thing. The song is great – I love that. Be brave at the dentist. You will be so glad when it is over.

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