Festival of Lights
For the first night of Hanukkah, I joined others from Barcelona’s Jewish community for a concert in a small auditorium in the heart of Gracia – a young, lively area of Barcelona dotted with plazas and lined with boutiques and restaurants, bakeries and gelato stores.
Throughout the concert by the group Mashalá, children danced (or, jerked spastically) while everyone sang along to the familiar Hanukkah tunes in Hebrew. Directions came in Spanish with music in Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish and more. The lead singer is a Barcelona transplant who moved from Canada about twenty years ago and the other members hail from Venezuela, Italy, Chile and Morocco.
Nostalgia filled the air as I listened to some of my childhood favorites. Hearing the familiar holiday tunes while surrounded by others with a shared connection filled me with an inexplicable pride that the Jewish community is still alive.