Happy Hanukkah! It's a pretty special one this year. I have quite the collection of handmade menorahs from over the years and it's a beautiful sight to see them all lit up with love.
In honor of Chanukah, I’m re-posting this adorable tale from last year with some updates. I know it borders on lazy, but I’ve got latkes to make and gelt to buy. And it’s not like anything has changed. It’s as timely now as it was 12 months ago. Sad. But true. L’Chaim.
A Hanukkah primer for the blessings over the candles
Hanukkah is one of the most festive Jewish holidays, filled with joyous traditions, gifts, games and delicious foods like potato latkes, donuts and chocolate coins. What’s not to like?
The Hanukkah story in a nutshell:
You’re going to a Hanukkah party and want to show the hostess how much you appreciate the invitation, but you might find yourself wondering what kind of hostess gift to bring.
Here are plenty of ideas - enough that you could use a different one each day of the eight-day-long celebration if necessary.
Set the Table
Latkes, or potato pancakes, go hand in hand with Hanukkah. Along with lighting the candles on the menorah, it's customary to eat oily foods like latkes and jelly donuts during this holiday.
So get ready to celebrate and enjoy these irresistable potato latkes with the family!
Ingredients (for up to 12 latkes):
2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup oil for frying
Perhaps the best-known Jewish toy, the dreidel--a spinning top traditionally made of wood--has a place in the homes of Jewish children around the world.
Most often played for chocolate coins called "gelt," or M&Ms for those whose sweet tooth overrules concern for historical accuracy, the dreidel reminds Jews of the Hanukkah story's miracle of the oil.
Hanukkah is a time for celebration with family. Unfortunately, it is also an occasion filled with health and safety risks, which can put a damper on holiday tradition. But despite the extra hazards present at this time of year, following some simple common sense tips can help keep you and your family safe and healthy throughout your Hanukkah festivities.
The Chanukah menorah is a candelabrum with nine branches. Jewish families light the menorah each year to celebrate the Festival of Lights, symbolic of the miracle of one day's worth of lamp oil lasting for eight days. For this reason, the holiday is observed for eight nights. Lighting the menorah each night of Chanukah is one way not only to teach children more about their Jewish heritage and spiritual traditions, but also to promote a sense of belonging that helps families grow closer.