Kicking Off Hanukkah

A reflection on Hanukkah traditions at home

To most Hanukkah represents one thing and one thing only.  Adam Sandler singing his infamous Saturday Night Live Hannukah song.  But clearly there is much more to the holiday than what he classically called “Eight crazy nights.”

Hanukkah is actually a minor Jewish holiday that honors the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Jews fought back against the Syrian-Greeks.  After emperor Antiochus outlawed Judaism in 167 B.C.E., the Jews retreated before re-engaging in battle.  They overtook the Syrian-Greeks and wanted to “cleanse” the Temple by burning oil in the menorah for eight days.  But they only had enough oil for one day, which by a miracle, lasted the eight full days.

The holiday has only “recently” become a major one largely due the commercialism of Christmas as Jews have an opportunity to celebrate the holidays with gifts too.

Beginning tonight, Jewish families around the world will begin the celebration in their homes at sundown (because Judaism uses a lunar-based calendar).  Here are a few of the traditions you would see at a Hanukkah celebration:

The lighting of the Menorah – the Shamas (usually the one in the middle) candle is the lead and after being lit is used to light one candle for each of the nights of Hanukkah.  Start with one candle on night one and move on to the appropriate number for each night.

 Kids spinning the Dreidel – It’s a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side that form an acronym meaning “a great miracle happened here.” Each side represents “take all,” “take half,” “put in” or “do nothing” as the children play for Hanukkah “gelt,” usually chocolate coins.

 Fried foods – To represent the oil, you will likely find mountains of potato pancakes called latkes.  Dip in apple sauce and you have pure goodness!

 Gifts – At a Jewish home you are likely to find tons of presents.  At least eight for each person piled somewhere near the menorah.  But believe me, not every gift is an Xbox One.

So as you drive home tonight, think about how lucky the Jewish kids are this year because they are getting their presents starting 10 days before Christmas.  But on the flip side, think of those same kids as you unwrap your gifts on the 25th while we look on in envy!

Happy Hanukkah!

 

Cover image via lovefromtheoven.com

 

Carla is the Director of Marketing Communications at Coldwell Banker Real Estate. She is passionate about connecting people and ideas - making her role pretty much a dream job. A born and bred Jersey Girl, Carla attended Rutgers University - twice - where she competed on the varsity crew team as an undergrad. Carla loves spending time with her husband, kids and dog; and at a good yoga class.

Subscribe to Blue Matter and get the latest updates

15 Comments

  1. Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 | Janet Glowacki's Blog
    December 16, 2014

    […] post Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue […]

    Reply
  2. Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 | Joseph-Roland Joubert's Blog
    December 16, 2014

    […] ← Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 […]

    Reply
  3. Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 | Rigo's blog
    December 16, 2014

    […] Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 […]

    Reply
  4. Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 | My Website
    December 16, 2014

    […] Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 […]

    Reply
  5. Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 | Patrick Lim's Blog
    December 17, 2014

    […] post Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue […]

    Reply
  6. Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 | Elouise Margita's Blog
    December 17, 2014

    […] post Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue […]

    Reply
  7. Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 | Earl Forbes Blog
    December 17, 2014

    […] post Kicking Off Hanukkah 2014 appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue […]

    Reply
  8. 4 Holiday Crafts Projects to Make Your Philly Home Merry and Bright | Janet Glowacki's Blog
    December 19, 2014

    […] for Hanukkah this year by turning simple wooden dreidels into a garland. Martha Stewart recommends gluing a […]

    Reply
  9. 4 Holiday Crafts Projects to Make Your Philly Home Merry and Bright | Joseph-Roland Joubert's Blog
    December 19, 2014

    […] for Hanukkah this year by turning simple wooden dreidels into a garland. Martha Stewart recommends gluing a […]

    Reply
  10. 4 Holiday Crafts Projects to Make Your Philly Home Merry and Bright | Donna Dagley's Blog
    December 19, 2014

    […] for Hanukkah this year by turning simple wooden dreidels into a garland. Martha Stewart recommends gluing a […]

    Reply
  11. 4 Holiday Crafts Projects to Make Your Philly Home Merry and Bright | My Website
    December 19, 2014

    […] for Hanukkah this year by turning simple wooden dreidels into a garland. Martha Stewart recommends gluing a […]

    Reply
  12. Kicking Off Hanukkah - Buy, Sell, or Rent Beautiful Homes In Northeast Ohio.
    December 6, 2015

    […] post Kicking Off Hanukkah appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue […]

    Reply
  13. Kicking Off Hanukkah | Lerner Realty Solutions
    December 7, 2015

    […] post Kicking Off Hanukkah appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue […]

    Reply
  14. Kicking Off Hanukkah | Heena's Blog
    December 7, 2015

    […] post Kicking Off Hanukkah appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue […]

    Reply
  15. Kicking Off Hanukkah | Dusty's Blog
    December 7, 2015

    […] post Kicking Off Hanukkah appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue […]

    Reply

Leave a Reply

The Funniest Elf on the Shelf Ideas We've Ever Seen
2015 Holiday Gift Guide: For Pop Culture Fans