Gen. George Washington was walking through the cold and gloom of Valley Forge in December 1777 when he came upon a lone soldier lighting two candles. The soldier is Jewish and tells the commander of the Continental Army about Chanukah and the rebel Maccabees’ triumph over a great empire, and the story inspires Washington to carry on.

That meeting by the fires of Valley Forge might not be any more historical than the story of Washington and the cherry tree, but it’s entertaining and appealing. So retired Lt. Col. George Heart shared the version of the story in Stephen Krensky’s “Hanukkah at Valley Forge” during Jewish War Veterans Post 112’s first semiformal Chanukah social Sunday morning, Dec. 17, at Berman Commons.

George Heart reads “Hanukkah at Valley Forge” to the social crowd.

Post 112 supplemented the usual kosher bagel buffet at its monthly meetings with sufganiyot and latkes, and Heart displayed his collection of military-themed chanukiot, the oldest of which was fashioned from a U.S. militia sword in 1849.

Retired Maj. Robert Max, the post commander, presented the Legion of Merit award to siblings Ahava and Avi Heart for their volunteer work with Post 112, including its recent visit to Fort Benning for a Sunday Shacharit service and Kiddush.

Rabbi Karmi Ingber provides the entertainment for Post 112.

Providing music for the social was Rabbi Karmi Ingber of The Kehilla in Sandy Springs, invited by Berman Commons chaplain Fred Glusman. Rabbi Ingber played his guitar and shared some Chanukah thoughts.

Photos by Eli Gray