Excerpt from Daybreak:
When we left the temple, great crowds of pilgrims stayed on the Mount waiting for the sunset and darkness before lighting their torches. My thoughts raced thinking of Judas Maccabeus and his men attacking on this very spot hundreds of years ago. They finally defeated the troops of Antiochus Epiphanes and tore down the statue of Zeus.
I thought of the miracle of the oil that kept burning for eight days while Judas, so-called the Hammer, led his troops in cleansing the Temple. The question for us now was would Israel experience another miracle. Could we defeat the Romans and reclaim our freedom? It seemed impossible but we were Jews and believed in miracles.
We began our short journey home on the road out of Jerusalem leading in the direction of Gaza, the last stop in Israel for those traveling to Egypt. We would arrive at our dwelling after only a few miles, just when the sky turned to a sea of darkness, illuminated by millions of heavenly lights like ships in the heavens above or souls on their way to meet the Lord of Lords. When I doubted my faith, I only had to look up on a clear night, and doubts vanished in the wonder of the moon and stars.
Father was quiet as usual on the trip home. I saw him gaze up at the sky now and then. I thought he was waiting to see the first evening star. When we saw the lights of our home in the distance, the heavenly bodies began to be visible. We both noticed one unusual star as we turned to look at the eastern sky. Its rays were extensive and seemed to reach the earth itself, an awesome sight. We stopped walking and looked at the vision above.
Finally, my father said, “Shekina Glory! This is the night of lights and the light of God’s presence is shining on us. The City of David lies to the east. It is written in Sacred Scripture the Messiah will come from Bethlehem, the City of David.”
“What are you saying, Father? I don’t understand.”
“It will be made known, my son. But now we have arrived at home and it is a joyous night.”
“You’re right, Father. I hear laughter. Our relatives must be here and the aroma of Mother’s cooking reminds me of how famished I am.”