Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chanukah is Early This Year

6-Pointed, Crocheted Chanukah Stars to Decorate my Office Lamp

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at sundown is the first night of Chanukah.
From the internet, here's a quick description of the celebration: The festival of Chanukah was established to commemorate the Jewish Maccabees' military victory over the Greek-Syrians and the re-dedication of the Second Temple, which had been desecrated by the Greek-Syrians, to the worship of God. Thus, Chanukah is a joyous celebration of Jewish national survival and religious freedom. When the Jews finished cleaning the temple for rededication, they wanted to light the eternal light, known as the N'er Tamid, which is present in every Jewish house of worship. Once lit, the oil lamp should never be extinguished. The Festival of the Lights, Chanukah, lasts for eight days to commemorate the miracle of the oil. The word Chanukah means "rededication". Only a tiny jug of oil was found with only enough for a single day. The oil lamp was filled and lit. Then a miracle occurred as the tiny amount of oil stayed lit not for one day, but for eight days.
Since Chanukah is usually close to Christmas, people often think that Chanukah is a major celebration like Christmas. It's not. Chanukah is a relatively small holiday, blown up by today's advertisers and it's proximity to Christmas. However, it is a fun holiday to celebrate with family. Because of the miracle of the oil, many of the traditional foods are cooked in oil. Yum. The favorite in my family is latkes or potato pancakes, served with a side of sour cream and/or apple sauce. There are many variations on the latke to make them a bit more healthy. My Mom likes to make the latkes with shredded zucchini. ANYTHING fried in hot oil is delicious! At our family gatherings, we usually have latkes, brisket of beef, some green vegetable and maybe a fruit compote instead of apple sauce. For dessert, a sampling of delicious cookies and rugelach from Diamond Bakery on Fairfax. Sephardic Jews have a tradition of frying bread or doughnuts called Sufganiot for dessert. they are often filled with fruit or jelly.

Sasha, Ellen, Denny, Ken - Chanukah, 1956
What are you serving for the holiday? Happy Chanukah!

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At 4:51 PM PST, Anonymous Jo Anne said...

So cute!!! Happy Chanukah to you and your family.

At 6:02 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless Israel.

At 11:28 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would love the pattern for your six pointed stars!

At 11:37 AM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

The pattern for the Garland of Stars is on this very blog: http://ellenbloom.blogspot.com/2009/12/garland-of-stars.html


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