Chanukah For Dummies!

 

Remembering the dates for Jewish holidays is never easy. Changing year by year, it can be hard to keep track. Luckily, we are here to remind you that Chanukah (or Hannukah, or Hanukkah) begins Saturday December 8, 2012 at sundown. For those of you new to the traditions, we have compiled a short cheat guide to the Jewish Holiday of Lights.

Or, if reading isn’t your thing, these fine acapella singers put together a version of “Dynamite’ to  tell the story of Hanukah

 

Brief History

Chanukah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C. after it was destroyed. The Jewish people had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. When it was time to rededicate the temple, there was only only enough clean olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day. However, the flames continued flickering for eight nights. This miraculous event inspired the yearly eight-day festival also known as the Festival of Lights.

Chanukah Vocabulary

Chanukah gelt

Gelt – the direct translation of this Yiddish slang is money, however at Chanukah it refers to both a coin shaped piece of chocolate and the money given to you by Bubby (Grandma) and Zaydie (Grandpa)

Dreidels Pellatt Cornucopia Chanukah blog
Source: Bnot Torah

 Dreidel – a spinning top with four sides, each with a Hebrew letter ? (Nun), ? (Gimel), ? (Hei), ? (Shin), which together form the acronym for “?? ???? ??? ??” (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – “a great miracle happened there”)Menorah/Chanukiah: Both a menorah and a chanukia are candelabrums. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably but if we are getting technical, a chanukiya is one kind of menorah. The main differences being that a chanukiyah has nine candle holders, one set above the others and is used for Chanukah. The menorah has only seven branches used in the ancient temple before its destruction.

Pellatt Cornucopia  Chanukah menorah
source:bje.org

Menorah/Chanukiah- Both a menorah and a chanukia are candelabrums. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably but if we are getting technical, a chanukiya is one kind of menorah. The main differences being that a chanukiyah has nine candle holders, one set above the others and is used for Chanukah. The menorah has only seven branches used in the ancient temple before its destruction.

Pellatt Cornucopia blog potato latkes
Source; The Shiksa

 Latkes – potato pancake fried in oil. Recipes and origin stories differ but one thing that is certain, these greasy snacks are delicious.

Check out the Montreal’s Gazette’s baked version of the potato pancake

 

Christmas Envy

 

Pellatt Cornucopia Chanukah sweaters
source:Geltfiend

Okay maybe jealousy is not part of the holiday, but it is so hard to not want Christmas lights, ornaments and a cozy Santa sweater to cuddle up in. Lucky for us Getlfiend.com has solved one of these envy-evoking desires by creating a line of awesome Chanukah Sweaters that will light up any party you attend.

Sour cream vs apple sauce: Every family celebrates the holiday a bit differently. One of the age old debates is how to top your latkes – sour cream or apple sauce? Let us know what you and your family do at @pellattMTL

 

 

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