Chanukah Same’ach! Happy Chanukah!

Happy Chanukah!  !חנוכה שמח

Happy Chanukah!
!חנוכה שמח

Chanukah has just begun here in Israel, and while you’re reading this we will be at our daughter’s house together with our other children and multitudes of grandchildren, lighting the candles and stuffing ourselves on assorted festive goodies.

Chanukah celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after it was desecrated by the occupying Greeks. This became possible by the miraculous military victory of the small and weak Jewish army led by Judah Maccabee and his brothers from the Hasmonean dynasty against the mighty Greek army.

But beyond the simple military victory there occurred an amazing miracle of a spiritual nature – the miracle of the single cruse of pure oil that was found, which enabled the rededication of the Temple to take place. The oil was only enough to burn for one day, while 8 days were needed to prepare a new batch of pure olive oil for the Menorah.   The miracles continued when that little cruse of oil sufficed for the full 8 days. Thus we celebrate Chanukah for 8 days, lighting candles each night of the festival.

For more background and history of Chanukah/Hannukah/Channukah (which can be spelled with any combination of n’s, k’s, h’s and optional c’s 🙂  ) read Aish.com.   In my previous years’ posts I wrote:

There are several customs associated with Channukah, chief amongst them eating foods made with or fried in oil (to commemorate the miracle of the jar of oil), especially latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jam-filled doughnuts – or jelly donuts for the Americans amongst us)  and playing with the dreidel, a little spinning top. According to tradition, under Greek rule it was forbidden to study Torah, so students would gather in secret. If they were discovered by the Greeks they would pull out dreidels and pretend to be gambling or playing games.

As I like to do every year, here is a cute video to entertain you and put you in the Chanukah mood (h/t Hadassah). The blurb below the video explains the songs and what’s going on in the video. Enjoy!

חג אורים שמח!

Chag Same’ach!

 

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8 Responses to Chanukah Same’ach! Happy Chanukah!

  1. And Happy Channukah to you!

  2. Reality says:

    Chanuka Sameach! we’ve just celebrated by eating sufganiot(donuts) & levivot(latkas/potato pancakes fried in oil!) Definitely a cholesterol filled holiday!!!
    During this Chanuka may the light of Israel shine forth & bring our enemies down like in the distant past. and bring us peace the world over. Amen

  3. Andrea says:

    All the best to you and your family Anne. I have been always reading your blog over these months with interest although quite lazy in contributing with comments. Andrea

  4. Brian Goldfarb says:

    All those fried goodies: I have a sneaking suspicion that these probably originate from Eastern Europe, if only because Sephardim (of whom I am not one) have a much healthier Mediterranean diet. After all, they bear a remarkable resemblance to Northern & Eastern European and North American comfort food.

    • anneinpt says:

      You’ve obviously never met a kube or a jahnoun Brian. 🙂 They can put Ashkenazi food to shame!

      Here in Israel at least the whole nation joins in the fress-fest with mountains of doughnuts and latkes being consumed. The Sephardim might have different recipes for the latkes but I assure you they’re fried!

      I’m just amazed that Israel doesn’t sink into the Mediterranean under the weight of its own calories every Chanukah! 😀

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