Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric A. KimmelHershel and the Chanukah Goblins by Eric Kimmel is my familys favorite Chanukah book. It holds a special place in our home, to the point where I actually purchased it last year as opposed to borrowing it from the library. We start reading this on the first day of the Jewish month of Kislev- 3 1/2 weeks before Chanukah starts- and read it over and over again until we know the story by heart.
Kimmel tells a tale of Jewish village of Ostropol in Eastern Europe similar to Isaac Bashevis Singers tales of the village of Chelm. Supernatural occurances especially haunts by goblins are the norm, and in this situation, the goblins have stolen Chanukah from the village. Even the rabbi is fearful of countering these goblins and the villagers are resigned each year to life without a Chanukah celebration. That is until Hershel appears and agrees to spend the entire eight nights and days of Chanukah in the old shul atop the hill in order to defeat the goblins and bring about a miracle.
What we love the most is the illustrations and how each goblin is more fearful and powerful than the rest. These pictures makes the book conducive to acting out the scenes, each complete with special voices for each of the goblins. With each night, the illustrations grow darker, and Hershel must use all of his wits to outsmart them. As this is a kids book, of course, it has a happy ending as the illustrations depict a menorah in each houses window. Yet, this story features a witty protagonist who must use his head to defeat darkness, making this a compelling story for children of all ages.
My favorite memory is when my now fifth grader was in first grade and was student of the week during Kislev and she asked me to read this book to her class. Her classmates all sat mesmerized as I told the story of Hershel defeating the goblins, each with their own special voice. Whether one celebrates Chanukah or not, this is a wonderful story at this time of year about good defeating evil and light over darkness.
As always, 5 bright stars!!!
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
With the first nips of crisp Fall weather in the air, and piles of pumpkins lining the entrances to our grocery stores, we can be sure of one thing — the Holiday Season is just around the corner! And just in time to get folks in the mood for Hanukkah, this year the J is offering an exciting treat in the form of the new play, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins. Now in print for over 25 years, the delightful book by Eric Kimmel has been read by generations of parents to their wide-eyed children.
Eric A. Kimmel
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins FAQ
As this writer entered Strawdog Theatre for the opening performance of this holiday show, it was impossible not to sense the excitement and energy of the young audience members in the lobby. The company had an art table set up with crayons and coloring pages, which was only just the start. Once the theater opened its doors, the cast met each of the kids with activities ranging from balloon animals to music, and some even did gymnastic routines on the stage. What quickly became clear was that this ensemble was ready to engage the young audience members from the very beginning, which only helped up the excitement when the lights went down, and the play officially began. Along their travels they happen upon an inn, and Hershel Anderson Lawfer , the leader of the group, offers the innkeeper a performance in return for food and shelter for the night. As long as they reign, they will continue to blow out the Hanukkah candles in the town each night, and Hershel decides he is the one to stop them.
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins—at Strawdog Theatre. Presented like a holiday vaudeville show aimed at younger audiences, this lively, laughter-provoking entertainment is actually a play-within-a-play. It features spirited ethnic music and lyrics by Jacob Combs, and is presented without intermission in story theatre fashion. In it, a troupe of six players, all of whom portray multiple Jewish characters, and play an array of musical instruments, pack up their belongings and head out onto the road. After traveling a long way, the troupe stops at a village where they request food and a place to sleep from the local innkeeper. Penniless, the troupe leader offers to entertain the concierge and his guests in exchange for his generosity.
What is Hershel and the Hannukah Goblins? Based upon the Hershel of Ostropol figure of Jewish legend, the play tells the story of how Hershel defeats a series of evil goblins who are bent upon ending the celebration of Hannukah in a synagogue. Is the play any good? This play is ridiculously good. Kids love it, and adults do too. As the reviews put it:. Is the play just fun, or is there a lesson?
Hershel And The Hanukkah Goblins- Strawdog Theatre- This new stage and the Hanukkah Goblins in this writer's opinion the perfect family play for this time of .
the white city of the north
As far as mainstage children's theater goes, though, this isn't bad.
Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe. Collin Quinn Rice. Strawdog Theater used to put on weird but unique noir-inspired thrillers in a Lakeview cabaret loft with a bar in it, but the landlords kicked them out in and tore down the building to make room for condos. The company has its new home in a squat North Center den on a sleepy and out-of-the-way street, though there are occasional disruptive volleys from the Metra and Brown Line on either side. So far as I can tell, Strawdog's never done a mainstage children's play, and probably never would've gotten away with one at its old space. But you know what? As insipid holiday fare for kids goes, this show isn't bad.