Remembering Delmore Schwartz, celebrated Jewish American poet, born December 8th 1913.
Do our miracles give us responsibilities like our dreams?
Artist Melanie Dankowicz’s “Dancing Children Dreidel” papercut captures the fragility and joy of the Chanukah miracle. The precision and delicacy of her medium, alongside the celebration her work portrays inspires us to appreciate each moment. The story of a miracle is like a treasured heirloom. Sharing the Chanukah story with love, care, and joy will preserve the tradition for generations to come.
To see more of Melanie Dankowicz’s work, please visit www.dankowicz.com
Books and Blintzes is grateful to the artist for her permission to share this image of the “Dancing Children Dreidel”. We ask our readers and followers to please respect her creative and legal rights. Do not copy, share, or distribute this image without her approval.
Jewish poet Paul Celan was responsible for some of the most striking German-language writing about the Holocaust. His experiences as a survivor led him to compose such heart-wrenching works as “Todesfugue” (“Death Fugue”).
This quote brought to mind the idea that believing in miracles may require a break from “reality”. That we can only find miracles where we search for them, or that miracles can happen for those who can immerse themselves in the unknown, illogical, even chaos.
There is such grief and darkness in Celan’s writing that the journey towards the hope of victory seems infinite. And yet if reality can be won, can it be the reality that we yearn for?
Celan’s poem “Todesfugue” is available on-line in English here: https://www.celan-projekt.de/todesfuge-englisch.html
Samuel Adler’s musical arrangement To Celebrate A Miracle brings to life the awe and inspiration of the Chanukah story. Incorporating 9 of the holiday’s instantly recognizable melodies, Adler’s composition encourages listeners to connect with the joy of the holiday and to embrace the hope of future redemption.
To listen to a recording and for more information about this work, please visit http://www.milkenarchive.org/music/volumes/view/cycle-of-life-in-synagogue-and-home/work/to-celebrate-a-miracle/
For more information about Samuel Adler, please visit http://www.milkenarchive.org/artists/view/samuel-adler/
I threw this together yesterday using Notegraphy, just playing around with visual representations of this month’s text. All the angles in this image reminded me that how we see the world – and if we can find the miracles, depends on our perspective. We may need to explore multiple angles to see all the ways in which the light refracts our experiences.
Depending on who you ask, people say that we can find miracles everywhere, nowhere, or somewhere in between. What qualifies as “miraculous”, and even a “great miracle” is the idea that we are going to explore with this month’s Jewish text art challenge. נס גדול היה שם “A Great Miracle Happened There” is one of the most familiar lines in the Jewish tradition, and we’re sure it will inspire us to greater heights of creativity in this new Hebrew month of Kislev.
As a quick note, if you are more familiar or comfortable, or just want to experiment with the Israeli נס גדול היה פה version of the text please share that work with us as well!