This is a tale of a very unusual holiday celebration that everyone who reads it will marvel at the depth of David's dedication and love for Hanukkah. Religion and science mesh very nicely in this book, one that has a very touching, harmonious conclusion.
When I think of my daughter some day spreading her wings and heading off into the world on her own, I feel a mix of pangs of personal loss combined with an incredible excitement for the experiences that lay before her. Where will she go? Whom will she meet? What will she experience? Who will she become?
For most Americans or residents in the West, December is synonymous with certain holidays like Christmas or Hanukkah. I can fondly remember Christmas morning at my grandmother's house, opening presents, seeing beloved relatives and having a large feast before trundling home sleepy and well fed. Everything seemed more festive, brighter and larger as a child. But times are somewhat different for me now. My Japanese wife and I are raising our little girl Buddhist, which presents some challenges in a country where Buddhism is little understood and hardly visible.
By the age of four, I had lived in three different countries and spoke pieces of three different languages. I was born in the former Soviet Union to an East German father and a Peruvian mother. My parents were university students in present day Ukraine and they communicated with each other in their only common language at that time, Russian.
In the ten years between my wedding day and the day I met my children, I spent a lot of time fantasizing about all of the traditions we would celebrate once I finally became a mother. I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the rituals and expressions that come along with loss and grief.
Question: why is it important to me that my kids speak more than one language? I have to admit that I never really thought about this. When I married an...