A Proper Hanukkah Article…

‘Brothers and sisters… We are here for one reason, and one reason alone! To share our love of Judaica… I present to you Hanukkah without prejudice, hey!’ – Paraphrased from ‘Rollin’ (The Balad of Big & Rich)’ by Big & Rich

So let’s share the Hanukkah joy! To start with, Aish.com gives us this cute flash! Also, XM Radio has A Hanukkah station now! Plus, for during this event, WE get it FREE by using the promo code TheChosen! Good on XM for this!

Also, the OU has put up an article listing what Hanukkah is all about! Well, wasn’t that nice of them? Also, Jewbiquitous gives us Everything we ever wanted to know about Chanukiahs, but were afraid to ask. Links to the history, the differences between them & Menorahs, links to making your own, and more! All and all, VERY informative! And what’s up with me? I’m finishing my shopping list for going & getting ‘supplies’ for the coming holiday & temple shopping! ^^ But, let’s look at more treats for the holidays, okay? Also, I seem to get this e-mailed to me this time of year, so let’s spread the love of the funny e-mail!

Here is the difference between Chanukah and Christmas, from a strictly Jewish perspective:

Christmas vs. Chanukah

1. Christmas is one day, same day every year, December 25. Jews also love December 25th. It’s another paid day off work. We go to movies and out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days.

It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure. Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don’t look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher, or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida) or other Jewish funeral home.

2. Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.

3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos… Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam, which looks impressive on the bookshelf.

4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukkah, Hannukah, etc.

5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.

6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills. Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.

7. Christmas carols are beautiful…Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful…. Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don’t Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?

8. A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful. The sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people are gathered around in festive moods. A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes, and onions. The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once.

9. Christian women have fun baking Christmas cookies. Jewish women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkas on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through the ages.

10. Parents deliver to their children during Christmas. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.

11. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus, Judah Maccabee, and Matta whatever. No one can spell them or pronounce them.. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history.

12. Many Christians believe in the virgin birth. Jews think,”Yossela, Bubela, snap out of it. Your woman is pregnant, you didn’t sleep with her, and now you want to blame G-d? Here’s the number of my shrink”.

13. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah, even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could we market a major holiday such as Yom Kippur? Forget about celebrating. Think observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 27 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, a guaranteed good time for you and your family. Tickets a mere $200 per person. Better stick with Chanukah!

Anyhoo, We have to do the obligatory ‘Heya Hanukkah’ as it is amusing. And, as we depart, we have to do SOMETHING food-oriented… Hmmmmmm… What to do, what to do? How about we look to the Sephardic traditions for Bonuelos? That’s a definite renegade look at the traditional potato latkes! So let’s get to it! First we need 1 Envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) of Dry yeast that we allow to bloom in lukewarm water. Once bloomed, pour it into a large bowl before adding in add 1/6 Cup Soft Butter or Margarine and 1/4 Teaspoon Salt. Now comes the hard part. We want to start kneading in All-Purpose Flour until the mix comes to a soft dough consistency. You don’t want to add too much flour, so just be patient and add flour slowly until it feels like dough for you. Once it’s right, cover the bowl with a towel ant let it rise for 3 hours. This is a good excuse to light candles, open presents, hear the story of Hanukkah, and generally have a good time.

Now, we return and it’s gotten BIG! Taking a spoon, scoop it out of the bowl and fry it as you would any other latke! Drain on paper towels, and serve! Now, these are traditionally served with an Orange Dipping Sauce, so let’s get into that! While the latkes drain off excess grease, combine 2 Tablespoons Orange Extract, 2 Cups Water, 1 Teaspoon Sugar and 1 Tablespoon brandy in a saucepan. Simmer the sauce over low heat for 15 minutes or so, and then serve in small cups for dipping the latkes into! There! My Sephardic readers, if I have any, should be happy! Seriously, I hope you all have a WONDERFUL minor holiday, and me nice to those in the kitchens! They are working long and hard to give you all the tasty latkes and kugel you’re eating these next 8 days! Give them a hug, a smile, and a thank you, all right? Until next time, Shalom and Good Cooking!

December 15, 2006. dessert, Jewish Links, Personal, recipes.

One Comment

  1. Annie replied:

    Thanks for the link! We do love chanukkah and its accoutremonts.

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