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IPFS News Link • Holidays

Rock of Ages

• By Dr Naomi Wolf

I lit candles tonight for the first night of Hanukkah — with my Irish Catholic husband standing nearby. He proudly mentioned the "shamash", the guardian candle that lights all the others. "I've been doing research," he said; and I took that as a gift.

My aunt, J., in California, who is a Rabbi, lit candles of her own, and we joined her via Zoom; seeing her lovely face in the candlelight, I was happy to notice the resemblance with, and to remember, my formidable, departed grandma, Dr Fay Goleman.

My grandmother had been tiny; and yet she had been a force of nature: a professor of sociology, far before her time; a defender of civil rights; an advocate for the rights of immigrant women, of farm workers, in her community. Her fierce belief in civil liberties and her disdain for bullies are always with me; her spirit is present in me — yes, I feel it; it keeps me from ever letting the flag of her principles — our principles — droop in the dust.

Grandma Fay is watching.