« Chanukah-Christmas holiday gift guide -- Part 1 | Main | World Cup goes to Russia and Qatar -- a bookish view »

December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah! Happy Chanukah!

Sundown marks the beginning of Hanukkah, or Chanukah, depending on the way you translate the Hebrew. (Potato, potahto; tomato, tomahto.)

The holiday commemorates a miracle of Biblical proportions -- when the Maccabees overthrew the Syrians, restored the Temple in Jerusalem and saw a one-day supply of oil last for eight days. That's why the holiday features a candle-filled menorah and foods fried in oil -- mainly jelly donuts and potato pancakes.

The holiday doesn't carry the religious heft of Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashanah, but in America it has gained prominence because it generally falls around Christmas time, as this NPR story notes. Little by little, gift-giving has become a staple of the holiday, though eight nights of presents is a bit of overkill. In our house, nightly gifts tended to to be simple, such as candy or band-aids.

So have a donut and, as Adam Sandler said, enjoy Eight Crazy Nights.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 12:43 PM | | Comments (7)


Band-aids? Really?

For some reason, kids love band-aids -- especially if they're colorful or decorated with cartoon characters.

Jelly donuts, you say? Now I wish I were Jewish.

A new toothbrush is a great little gift, too. Cheap and cheerful. . .AND useful.

Learn exciting facts about Hanukah here:

It's kind of sad that when I try to think of Hannukah books I read when I was little, I can't think of a single one ! Anyone have suggestions? I guess Christmas isn't really about books either, but at least a few classic titles come to mind then...

Hi! Happy Chanukah to you as well!

We all love the Maccabeats, but you should check out the hilarious New York and NCSY themed Chanukah video as well. It features real people in NYC deciding to get into the holiday spirit by dancing to fantastic parody pop songs.

Check it out here.

Alternatively, the link is right here:


Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


Map: Bookstores

View Favorite Bookstores in a larger map
About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Edgar Allan Poe is 200!
All you need to know about the macabre master including Poe-themed events, photos, video and a trivia quiz.

Stay connected