One of the most famous Chanukah songs is the holiday tune known by its first line: “I have a little dreidel, I made it out of clay.” It is the first Chanukah song that preschool toddlers learn; it’s the song whose lyrics are printed on plastic holiday ware, and it’s the Jewish folk song seemingly so old that it’s no longer attributed. But it’s actually called “My Dreidel” – it exists in both English and Yiddish versions. “And,” says Mrs. Susan Wolfe excitedly, “I know who wrote it!”

After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israeli leaders made the decision to return control of the M’aras HaMachpeilah (Cave of the Patriarchs) complex to the Muslim Waqf. The Arabs did not allow any type of archaeological research in “their” holy places, and even today, they refuse to allow Jews into the area known as Kever Yitzchak, the tomb of Yitzchak Avinu.

A woman once came to the Kapischnitzer Rebbe, Rav Avraham Yehoshua Heschel zt”l. She was on the verge of despair. Having survived the Holocaust, she came to the United States and raised a family. She valued her Jewish roots; however, she was not a deeply religious person and consequently, neither were her children. Now, though, her grown-up son had gone too far; he had met a non-Jewish girl, courted her for some time, and just recently, they announced their engagement. She was horrified; her son was planning to marry out of the faith! She begged, she cajoled, and she even took her son to speak with many important rabbis. It was no use. “Mama,” he would say, “don’t you want me to be happy? I have met the woman of my dreams. So what if she’s not Jewish? It’s not as if we keep the Jewish laws, anyway. Why is this so important to you?”

A number of years ago, Rabbi Hertzel Borochov, a Lubavitcher chasid from Rechovot, in the Central District of Israel, visited an auto body shop near his home to have his car serviced. The owner of the shop was a man by the name of Tziyon Kedoshim, a Sephardic Jew, who was nominally observant. He put on t’filin every day and davened, but not much more than that.

One of the well-known magidim in Eretz Yisrael was once invited to speak at a mesivta in Jerusalem to deliver a shmuess and words of chizuk. He began by relating a story that he had heard first hand.

On May 3, 1982, Prime Minister Menachem Begin hobbled into a crowded Knesset chamber, tense with expectancy. He was in pain, recovering from a severe hip injury, and it was with heavy, purposeful steps that he arrived to deliver his El Al speech. He began quietly, factually, declaring that the government had finally decided to halt all El Al flights on Shabbos and festivals – a revelation that sent leftist eyes glaring and hatred flashing in the public gallery where the El Al union men sat.