“Local children will love this story, set in New Bedford, Mass., once known as the whaling capital of the world. Nine-year old Emanuel Aguilar knows a lot about whaling because his father, Aaron, owns a store where many of the town’s whalers purchase supplies. Emanuel talks with the whalers about their seafaring adventures, and dreams of becoming one of them. The Aguilars, who are Jewish, escaped religious persecution in Portugal. When they moved to New Bedford, they made a conscious decision to hide their ancestry. Emanuel dreams of putting a whale oil menorah in the shop window to celebrate Chanukah, but his father always refuses.
The frustrated boy writes his father a note saying he has gone to sea to learn what it’s like to really be free, brave and unafraid. He stows away on a ship, unbeknownst to anyone, but a big storm hits and he comes out of hiding. The lighthouse is struck by lightning, leaving the ship with no guidance to reach shore.
But suddenly, out of the darkness, some lights appear on the horizon. When they reach the shore, Emanuel realizes that the lights are the glow from the flames of the menorah from the last night of Chanukah. As he steps off the ship, Emanuel is greeted by is father, who said after reading his letter, he was so ashamed that he told all his Jewish neighbors that they must all light their menorahs and not be ruled by fear anymore. This exciting action adventure tale will capture children’s imaginations, and also teach them a valuable life lesson. Perfect for ages 5-9.” —Jewish Journal
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|Emanuel and the Hanukkah Rescue||2012|
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