Celebrated Chanukkah (347/366)

“We light candles in testament that faith makes miracles possible.”
~ Rabbi Nachum Braverman

It’s the fifth night of the Festival of Lights, and tonight, our great friend Mike graciously opened his home to a bunch of us so we could all take part in the celebration.

Even with Mike’s crazy busy schedule, he found the time to make us all some delicious latkes to enjoy, along with applesauce and (of course) “Canadian Style” sour cream.  Ha ha ha – SO awesomely Jutan!

The table was set with Mike’s beautiful Menorah, and he even had dreidels for us – to not only play with at the celebration, but also to take home.  So cool!

Chanukkah is a festival commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE, and a storied miracle at the time of the rededication.  Olive oil was needed for the menorah in the Temple, which was required to burn throughout the night, every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet it burned for eight days – the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil for the menorah.

Mike lit the five candles that were placed in the menorah from left to right, using the candle in the middle, which is called the shamash, which means “helper” or “server,” and sang the candle lighting blessings (you can light virtual candles and hear the blessings for yourself with the awesome iMenorah app Mike and Matt wrote!).  He explained that the tradition is to “bask in the light of the menorah” until the candles have all burned down, “so nobody’s leaving anytime soon,” he joked.

No one wanted to leave anyway – we were all having such a great time together.  I noticed a familiar dreidel on the table, too.  Cool!

We all listened to Mike tell us the story of the dreidel, and how it was basically a way for Jewish kids to be able to study the Torah when it was outlawed by the Greeks – if anyone came by as they were studying, they were to pretend they were just spinning their tops and gambling.  He said it was “like when you put a ‘Popular Mechanics‘ magazine inside a comic book to read.”  We all had fun teasing him for his example – that totally sounds like something he would have done as a kid – he has a voracious appetite for learning, which is one of the things that’s so awesome about him.  After Mike explained the dreidel, Frank  read us the story of “The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming” about a latke no one understood (but who eventually found happiness, in a nice Jewish home).

This was a wonderful evening of learning, laughing, and spending time with great friends.  Many, many thanks to Mike for having us over and for sharing this very special festival with us.  L’Chiam!

Related Links:
Hanukkah on Wikipedia.com
“Built a ‘Droidel'” on IveNeverDoneThat.com
The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story

One Response to “Celebrated Chanukkah (347/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    I never met a latke I didn’t like.

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