Happy Hanukkah to you all! Tonight we light the first of 8 candles on the Hanukiah and today... we made Donuts!
Yum! Katherine made Boston Cream filling and we dipped them in a chocolate glaze!
The festival of Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated sometime in December. In the second century BCE, Israel was ruled by Greeks who tried to force the Jews to assimilate to the Greek culture and religion. A priest, by the name of Matisiyahu, and his seven sons organized the Jews that were still faithful to God into a group, calling themselves the Maccabees. With the help of God and guerrilla warfare, they miraculously defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth, drove the Greeks from the Holy Land and reclaimed and re-dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem. As the story goes, when they tried to light the Menorah they could only find one jar of pure oil, enough to last only one day. They lighted it anyways and another miracle happened: the oil burned eight days! To commemorate these miracles the holiday Hanukkah was instituted. Other names for Hanukkah are the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. For eight nights the Jewish people light one candle per night on a hanukiah, a nine branch menorah, to remember the miracles God did for their forefathers. If you want to read the Hanukkah story for yourself it is found primarily in the first book of Maccabees, which I am told is in the Catholic Bible, and it is also mentioned in John 10:22 as the Feast of Dedication- " At that time the Feast of Dedication took place in Jerusalem; it was winter and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon."
Because of the miracle of the oil, it is traditional to eat foods cooked in oil such as donuts and latkes, which are potato pancakes. The latkes are particularly good with sour cream or applesauce on top!
It is also customary to play the game of Dreidle. A driedle is a four-sided top with the Hebrew letters Gimel, Nun, Shin and Hey painted on each of the sides. The letters together are an acronym for "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham" which means "A Great Miracle Happened There". It has been told, that when the Greek King Antiochus made it illegal to study the Scriptures, the Jews, would begin to play driedle when Greek soldiers came upon them reading the scriptures, so that they would think they were only playing a silly game and thus spare their lives.
It has become our own tradition to listen to this song by Marty Goetz, each night as we light the candles.
A few other fun ones are as follows :)
Well, the animal chores are calling my name and after that the donuts need to eaten... they just need to! Good night and Happy Hanukkah!