Coronavirus Days--Week 39
But I didn't say that. Just thought it. Mission was almost completed and I didn't want to leave without them.
On Thursday, mid-day, I began to prepare for Chanukah, taking the menorah down and rifling through a drawer for candles. When I pulled out two boxes, and began to count, I realized I only had enough to last for four nights. No problem I thought. Certainly I could order them from somewhere, pay for rush shipping, and have them brought to me. I tried multiple sites, scouring the web in a panic, only to be greeted by Out of Stock. I made phone calls to local party stores, craft stores, other places that usually stock them at this time of year. Still no luck.
Most years, I am not home every night, usually out connecting with friends for end of the semester commiseration celebrations and pre-holiday gatherings. But in these coronavirus days, I would be home all eight nights, able to light the menorah and bring some light into our world. I pondered whom I could text, whom Nan might text, but then, in my surfing wandering I saw that the nearby Chabad House was having a first night lighting of the electric menorah outside, and if you needed, they could supply you with candles. I dialed their number, and the rabbi told me that I could hope for a Chanukah miracle with my few candles lasting into eight nights, or I could come by and he could "hook me up." With my mask, some money for a donation, and determination, I headed for the pick up, feeling like a wayward Jew as I rang the bell.
I was invited inside and warmly greeted by the rabbi and his children. Not wanting to appear rude, I followed him into the nearby room and asked for candles. He went to a big table nearby and asked if I wanted dreidels, gelt, anything Chanukahish. I accepted some chocolate gelt, the candles, and readied myself to leave. As I walked towards the door, the recruitment pitch began, asking if I was affiliated with a congregation. I said no, promised to search them out on Facebook, and thanked the fresh air as I walked back to my car, no longer worried about lighting candles each night.