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.