Poster Candles Burning Brightly

'Candles Burning Brightly'

Candles Burning Brightly

Hosted by Mindy Ratner, Candles Burning Brightly is a delightful hour for everyone to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Lights! There is lots of music from Jewish communities worldwide, a hilarious lesson on preparing a classic Hanukkah dish, and a timeless and touching holiday story that brings light into every home.


Traditional Sephardic: La Fiesta de la Hanukia (Ladino) – Yale Strom’s Broken Consort; Elizabeth Schwartz, vocals

Traditional: Blessing Melody – Andrea Stern, harp; recorded at Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio at American Public Media, July 2014

Traditional (arr. Ellstein; choral arr. Jacobson, orch. Gelber): Candle Blessings (Hebrew) – Cantor Morton Shames, Aram Demirjian, vocals; New England Conservatory Chorus and Orchestra/Tamara Brooks, conductor

mindy ratner, theo bikel, hug
Classical MPR host Mindy Ratner and actor Theo Bikel share a hug.
Elaine Siegel

Shelley Olson: A Chanukah Cantata: Blessing – Rosemary Quinn-Milch, cello; Deborah Scholem, violin

Theodore Bikel reads “The Lost Menorah” by Howard Schwartz from Adam’s Soul: The Collected Tales of Howard Schwartz (published 1992 by Jason Aronson; now out of print); used with the kind permission of the author

Scott Robinson: Great is the Miracle: Mi Ze Hidlik (excerpt) – Eaken Piano Trio

Judith Clurman and David Chase: Eight Days of Lights (Hebrew/English) – Essential Voices USA/Judith Clurman, conductor James Cunningham; piano

Chaim Parchi (arr. Jacobson): Aleh Neri (Hebrew) – Chaim Parchi, soloist; Zamir Chorale of Boston/Joshua Jacobson, conductor

Traditional (arr Clurman, Hochman, Stokes Mitchell): Songs of Freedom: Likhvod HaChanukah (English) – Ron Raines, soloist; Essential Voices USA Chorus and Ensemble/ Judith Clurman, conductor

Flory Jagoda: Ocho Candelikas (Ladino) – Rebecca Shrimpton and Marissa Steingold, vocals; New England Conservatory Jewish Music Ensemble/Hankus Netsky, conductor



Traditional (arr J Tyzik): Chanukah Suite: I Have a Little Dreidel (excerpt) – Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra/Jeff Tyzik, conductor

Traditional Sephardic: Azeremos una Merenda (Ladino) – Derek Burrows, vocals; Voice of the Turtle

Chasia Segal: Latke Cooking Demonstration

Judith Shatin: Nun, Gimel, Hei, Shin (Hebrew) – New London Children’s Choir/Ronald Corp, conductor

Folk Song (arr M Helfman): S’vivon (Hebrew/English) – Western Wind Vocal Ensemble

Avrom Goldfaden (arr EZ Levine): Drey Zikh, Dreydele (Yiddish/English) – Western Wind Vocal Ensemble

Traditional (arr A Binder): Maoz Tzur (Hebrew) – Zamir Chorale of Boston/Joshua Jacobson, conductor

Italian chant: Maoz Tzur (Hebrew) – Zamir Chorale of Boston/Joshua Jacobson, conductor

Hugo Chaim Adler: Maoz Tzur (By the Waters) (Hebrew) – Zamir Chorale of Boston/Joshua Jacobson, conductor

Traditional/David Bouzaglo: Am Ne’Emanay (Hebrew) – Galeet Dardashti, vocals; Divahn

Traditional Sephardic: Psalm 30 (instrumental/excerpt) – Western Wind Ensemble

Menorahs/Chanukiot (Hebrew)

The candelabrum is a central object in the observance of Chanukah because the holiday is all about light! But what this item is called can be the source of friendly debate. It's common in the United States to refer to the candelabrum used at Chanukah as a menorah. Technically, it is... but a menorah can have any number of branches, while the menorah used at Chanukah – called a chanukia (plural: chanukiot) – has branches for eight candles, plus one for the shamash, the "helper” that is used to light the rest of the candles. The candles should never be extinguished, but should be allowed to burn down by themselves.

Mindy writes about a special menorah


The dreidel is a four-sided spinning top used for a little low-level gambling game played at Hanukkah.

The sides of the dreidel show the Hebrew letters נ (nun), ℷ (gimel), ה (hei) and ש (shin), which stand for the words "nes gadol haya sham" — meaning, "A great miracle happened there."

So what's at stake? Pennies, or nuts-in-the-shell, or small pieces of chocolate.

Learn how to play.

See more on dreidels in the photos below.

More music for Hanukkah

Enjoy these additional features and stories to enhance your experience of Candles Burning Brightly®.

  1. 8 songs for 8 nights: Music for Hanukkah

  2. Harpist Sunita Staneslow plays 'Ocho Candelikas'

  3. Itzhak Perlman's Chanukah Radio Party

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