Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!

I want to wish a Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish friends and readers! For those who don't know, the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights, commemorates the triumph of the Jews over their oppressors in ancient Israel. According to legend, when the Jews reclaimed their temple, they found only enough oil to create light for one day, but the oil lasted for eight days. The lighting of Hanukkah candles symbolizes that miracle.

Sitting down to a Hanukkah meal with family and friends is as significant a part of the celebration as lighting the menorah candles. Like the candles, the oil used to fry potato latkes and cook the traditional jam-filled doughnuts, called sufganiyot, recalls the miracle in the temple. After dinner, the children play dreidel, a game that uses a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The letters are the initials of the words that together mean "a great miracle happened there."

The latkes alone make me wish I was Jewish and Martha Stewart has a great recipe. I always think it's a nice and thoughtful gesture to learn about and experience the traditions of another. Enjoy!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oye Vey!

Suzy said...

Thanks for sharing, I never knew the significance of the 8 lights on the Hannukah candles.

Jacqui O said...

I love to be aware of other culture's feast days and ways. It's always an excuse to copy or borrow ideas and make a celebration of your own.

Alice Olive said...

Latkes.

This reminds me of one of my favourite authors, Lily Brett. She is an Australian and Jewish and lives in New York. I love her writing style and have read everything she has written! One of my favourites is Too Many Men... And her father has a particular fondness for latkes.

Sorry for the ramble. Thanks for the recipe. Anything based around potato has to be good!

franki durbin said...

Happy Hanukkah to all! Hopefully someone will offer me some latkes. mmmm. fortunately you don't have to practice the faith to enjoy these...but it does help to have a lovely Jewish mother to make them for you ;)

maison21 said...

loves me some latkes! the picture on your post made me hungry!

Brilliant Asylum said...

I have never had a latke, but that photo is sending me on a search for one in Atlanta asap! I guess I could try the recipe too if I am feeling culinary.

Seconds on the Happy Hanukkah to all!

Habitually Chic said...

Don't those latkes look delicious! I made them once for my family during Christmas and they were a huge hit!

Mélanie said...

Thank you for sharing that tradition and to wish us an Happy Hanukkah ..I love lighting my candle every night

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