The God Squad: Sticky Wing Heather: A Hanukkah midrash

Rabbi Marc Gellman, Tribune Content Agency on

On the sixth day of creation God said to the angels, "I think I'll make a cow." And the angels said, “What do we care? Go make one now."

Then God made some rats and the angels said, "Fine, fine, fine, they’ll be food for cats.” But when God said, "Rats and cows are not the total plan. Tomorrow I'm gonna make a man."

The angels screamed at God, “He will kill your creatures. You can't allow it. He’ll cut down a forest just to plow it. He’ll get drunk drinking wine from big carafes. How about making just a few more giraffes?"

Then a poker playing angel named Sticky Wing Heather, who got her name by hiding cards in her feathers, said to God, "How about we play a little game before you do something really lame. If you win you can make the man, but if you don’t, and I prevail, you just go and make another critter with a bushy tail."

God said to Heather, "I’m sorry you are so filled with blame, but I agree to play little your game.”

Heather came back with a small top with Hebrew letters around the rim. “Hey, God,” she said, "all you do is let it spin, and, of course, I'll tell you if you win. The top was made by an angel named Maidel and she called her invention the spinning dreidel.”


Suddenly, the dreidel spun and spun and landed on the Hebrew letter nun. Heather screamed, "Nun is the first letter of the Hebrew word nachash and that means snake, just like the people you intend to make. People will be awfully sneaky, and some of them will be extremely creepy." God quickly said, "Nun also begins the Hebrew word nehama, which you know means kindness, unless you are suffering angelic blindness. My people can be kind and good, acting the way I know they should.”

The dreidel landed on the Hebrew letter gimel on the second spin, and Heather immediately shouted, “Now we definitely win! Gimel begins the word geneivah, which means stealing something from your neighbah." "However," God answered, "Gimel also begins the good word gibor, which means hero. Why do you think that the man will be an absolute zero? The man I make can be more than a thief. He could be a doctor, a lawyer, or a police chief. Let's just spin again, and I hope the sides of this dreidel number less than ten."

The third dreidel spin lasted half a day, but it finally landed on the letter hey. God said, "Heather, I know that whatever the cost, you will think up a reason why I lost.”

"Well," said Heather, "Hey begins the word harag, which means to kill, and that is what the people will do. They will kill the bugs and kill the sky and if you ask them, they won't even know why. Killing is just what people do, cause people are just not like me or you."


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