8 Nights, 8 Heroes

Inspiring stories to share around the Chanukah lights.

Dec 20, 2008 from aish.com see full article here

Chanukah is the time when we joyously recall the heroic Maccabees and the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 nights. Throughout Jewish history, there have been heroes in every generation. We thought it would be fun to choose 8 Jewish heroes, and each night, as we light the Chanukah candles, to read about a different hero.

How did we choose these 8? We included a variety — those who demonstrated leadership qualities and others who reached great spiritual heights; young and old, famous and ordinary. The first 4 heroes in our list are historical figures, and the next 4 are alive today.

Each has an interesting story to tell, and each fought to preserve our heritage so that we can continue to live as proud Jews today. Enjoy!

6) The Chicken Lady


If you’d meet Clara Hammer on the bus or in the supermarket, you probably would have smiled at her. She’s a sweet 93-year-old great-great-grandmother. But you’d never imagine that she is affectionately known as the “Chicken Lady,” responsible for feeding hundreds of poor families in Israel.

Clara’s kindness campaign began 22 years ago during a routine trip to a kosher butcher shop in Jerusalem. She was standing in line and saw the butcher give a young girl a plastic bag filled with nothing but fat and skin. When Clara got to the front of the line, she asked, “How many cats and dogs does that family have that it needs so many scraps?”

The butcher explained that the family had no pets, but seven children. They used the fat and skin for “chicken soup” and for stew. The words went straight to Clara’s heart. She looked across the counter and said: “From now on, give the family a whole chicken and I’ll pay for it!”

What motivates Clara to help? Born in a small town in the Ukraine, Clara and her family survived three pogroms before running away to Romania. The Romanian border police refused her family entrance and they were jailed for five months. It was there that she experienced terrible hunger. And Clara decided that she will do whatever she can to alleviate hunger today.

Today, Clara assists over 700 people and pays the butcher a weekly bill of over $1,000. The butcher has an entire computer dedicated to Clara.

Her apartment in Jerusalem is filled with images of little chickens — stuffed chicken dolls, figurines and mugs. In 2008, Clara Hammer was awarded an honorary “doctorate in kindness” by Yeshiva University. She is a modern-day hero, showing us all what one person can achieve — with a little imagination and a lot of caring.

based on an idea by Flaura Koplin Winston

This  full article can also be read at: aish.com

May the memory of Chaya bat Meir serve as a blessing.

Donations can be mailed to:
Clara Hammer Chicken Fund
PO Box 18602
Jerusalem, Israel 91185

or you can donate through the red paypal button below:


Contributions can also be deposited at:
Bank Leumi    Branch 905
Ramat Eshkol, Jerusalem
Acct no. 651200/75

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