Friday, December 11, 2009


Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah.

When David and I were first dating I asked him, "So does your family do anything special for Hanukkah?"

The answer was no, which sort of baffled me. Isn't Hanukkah some sort of Jewish Christmas?

It turns out that religiously it's not a major holiday, except to retailers who want folks to think otherwise.

The big Jewish holidays are Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover.

Unlike Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover, Hanukkah is a holiday which is not from the Torah. It is the commemoration of a post biblical event, namely the victory of the Maccabees over the Greek rulers of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Temple in 164 BCE. It also celebrates a miracle that took place during this event. When the temple was rededicated, God miraculously made one day's worth of oil last for eight days.

There you have it. A small but crucial miracle. No virgin births and no reindeer.

In spite of it's lack of Santa, I love Hanukkah. I love the candle light and I love our family menorah. We have a few, but this menorah is our favorite. It was given to us by my dear stepmom the very first winter that David and I were together.

You can't tell because this picture is well, imperfect, but the Hebrew letters of this menorah spell Shalom.

Guess why the kids love Hanukkah?

Eights nights of gifts! We tend to keep the Hanukkah gifts small and fun- sort of like Hanukkah itself.

I have to conclude this post by telling you the other excitement of the day. Pugsley and Sophie ate an entire bag of organic (!) sunflower seeds and have spent the last three hours throwing up sunflower seeds and then trying to eat each others vomit.

This was not the excitement I was hoping for.


Lisa said...

LOL! Sorry mine got a bag of M&M's earlier in the week! I was lucky though no vomit. Sorry about all your excitement. I enjoyed your post! It is fun to learn more about how people celebrate!!
Hugs, Lisa

Cheryl said...

Poor Pugsley and Sophie. They must be have been hurting badly.

Beautiful menorah. Happy Chanukah to you all.


David Duford said...

Thanks for the lesson, Sara! I always thought that Hanukkah was a major Jewish holiday too.

Sorry about the dogs! Our beagle, Sadie, seems to have a cast iron stomach, as she has eaten many things and has never really gotten sick from them (knock on wood). These include tire inflator, tree wound tar, aluminum cans and my most recent favorite, several ears of indian corn. that dog pooped corn for four days straight, but never got sick!

Anyway, happy happy and merry merry to you all!

-Cousin Dave

Pom Pom said...

Oh! Poor S and P!
What about the junking? Anything?
Happy, happy LIGHTS and LOVE!

Ginger said...

I don't blame the girls for liking Hanukkah, 8 nights of gifts are pretty cool.
I hope Sophie and Pugsley are feeling better now. Had to laugh over that. At least they clean up after each other. lol.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me that the Rabbi who I studied with for my conversion (self chosen!) asked me once what the miracle of Hanukkah was. I answered that the oil lasted for 8 days.

He replied, "The miracle the way I see it is that the people had the faith to keep lighting the menorah for the 2nd through the 8th nights." I found it touching. :) Ms TT