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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)
        

Comments

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: www.chabad.org/holidays/chanukah

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: http://chanukah.ncsy.org/

Thanks!

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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.
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