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Yehudah the Menorah
Jewish Values through Children's Stories
by: Rabbi David Botton

(c) 2003 Rabbi David Botton – All Rights Reserved
This story may be printed for exclusive individual private use. It may not be distributed in any form. Please feel free to pass along the link

Yehudah loved life and loved his mission. Yehudah was no ordinary lamp, he was a Menorah. He had the special job of shining bright with the holy lights of Chanukah. He was not alone in this. In the Jerusalem Menorah Shop there were so many different types of menorahs. Some Menorahs were wide on the bottom, some on the top. Some used oil and some not. Some were silver some were gold. Each menorah is special and unique, but all work to show off the beauty of the Chanukah lights.

For an entire year they would prepare. Each one had its own special way of getting ready for the magnificent eight days when they would shine bright each night adding one more light. Some menorah's worked on their shine. Some menorah's worked on strengthening their branches some on their bases. If you are going to be showing off the miracles of God, you have to prepare and work hard. It's not easy being the chosen lights!

Yehudah the menorah worked most on his mind. He would think and contemplate hours on end about the greatness of God and how on Chanukah he would share with the world the great light that symbolized triumph of what God says is best, over what man thinks is best.

"Yehudah, I’ve had enough of this", shouted one of the menorahs, "all year we work on ourselves to shine for only eight days while all those other lamps get to burn all the time, it's not fair!"

Yehudah turned to his fellow menorah with a stern look, "We are the chosen lights proclaiming to the world the miracles of God. That is something to be proud of something to work hard for. No other lamp can do that!"

"I don't care Yehudah, I've been talking with many of the menorahs around here and we don't want to be different, we want to be like all the other lamps. They get to burn any time they want!"

"Life is not about burning when you want", Yehudah said, "it is about fulfilling your potential doing God's work and uplifting the world!"

"Yehudah, I don't care what you say, I am going to do what I think is best for me and I know many others here are in with me on this!"

Small tears began to fall from Yehudah's eyes, "but don't you understand the greatness of what you have already, are you just going to throw it all away?"

"Sure it’s great to be a menorah, but it's got to be better - burning every day!" with that he stormed away from Yehudah and huddled with his other like-minded menorahs.

Moments later there was banging and clanking all over the Jerusalem Menorah Shop. Many of the menorahs started cutting off branches and pounding themselves in to different shapes. One menorah shouted, "look at me, I am a street lamp". Then another shouted, "I am an elegant candelabra and am going to sit on some rich guys table."

One by one most of the menorahs had changed themselves in to different kinds of lamps. Each one then jumped in to the front widow of the Shop shoving any of the menorahs that were left, aside.

Within days shoppers snatched up all the new lamps. They couldn't keep themselves away. Something was special about these new lamps. One shopper told another, "these lamps, I'm telling you, they have a soul! Just look at them!"

Yehudah and a few other menorah's were all that was left. "This is a tragedy beyond compare!", Yehudah moaned, "My Friends, we must band together and be ready, those foolish menorahs have no idea what they have done to themselves! When they wake up, we need to be ready to help them."

One of his fellow menorah’s cried out "But Yehudah, will they ever wake up and realize how far away they are from their holiness?"

With a sigh of great concern Yehudah looked into the eyes of his fellow menorah and said, "Chanukah is coming and we will burn brighter then ever, we must! Then they will see the light of God's miracles and realize who they are deep inside! They are not just lamps, no matter how far they have gone and how much they look like other lamps. They are still menorahs inside!"

"Yehudah, how will we help them?"

"We will shine out to them, be there for them, love them and take them back in to the Shop and help each one fix themselves once again in to beautifully shaped menorahs."

Yehudah and his fellow menorah's trained harder then ever before. Yehudah then proclaimed, "Chanukah is days away! Train harder, be stronger! Every fallen menorah will know that we, Yehudah and the M.A.C.A.B.E.s, Menorahs Assembled for Caring About our Brothers Everywhere, are coming for them!"

When Chanukah arrived they  were ready. They shined brighter then ever, shining throughout the city. But as their light shined, many of the other lamps in the city began to dampen. It wasthe rebellious menorahs, now lamps of all different types. When they saw the lights of the menorahs they realized their mistake and knew deep inside, they couldn't go on burning away with ordinary, empty lights. Their hearts ached inside realizing that they once too had been burned with the true light of Chanukah.

The next morning there was a tumult at the Jerusalem Menorah Shop as people were fighting to return their "defective" lamps that just didn't light up any more. Yehudah and the M.A.C.A.B.E.s were ready to take back each one treating them as if they had never left.

"Come quick", Yehudah shouted to the returned lamps, "there is still time for us to help you prepare for the next night of Chanukah!"

That next night the Chanukah lights were stronger and brighter than ever before with more menorahs burning and shining brightly the miracle lights. And so it was each and every night; more menorahs burned and every morning more menorahs returned. By the time the eighth night arrived all the menorahs were home again and shining once again as never before filling the world with the light of God's miracles!

(c) 2003-2008 All Rights Reserved - Rabbi David Botton

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