Chanukah is a time of company for meals and parties and special events. If you host a shindig, often there are so many people there, it's difficult to have a meaningful chat with any of your guests.
However, if you listen carefully to bits and pieces of conversations around you, you're very likely to learn something interesting.
For example, last week we had our own children, our nephews, and other guests for a holiday meal.
In the middle of the meal, I heard one of the guests ask his friend how miluim (reserve call-up) was. I was told later that the friend was in Eilat, guarding the border.
Guarding the border in sunny vacation-town Eilat must be a big yawn, "I hope you had suntan lotion," I said.
He said that I was totally incorrect, and that he hardly slept the entire time he served on the border, because not a moment went by when they could lower their guard. He said that Sudanese were pouring in to Israel unstoppably. They ran for hours and hours to get to the Israeli border, and then they made their way to Eilat, up to Southern Tel Aviv and Bnei Brak.
"Why didn't you tell me that you were chasing Sudanese? I said.
"You never asked me," he responded.
So, tell me, when you see a young person, what should be your dialogue? "How are you?" "How is your family?" "Going out with anyone lately?" "Did you capture any Sudanese in miluim?"