It’s a little less than 2 weeks until Chanukah. And the beauty of that is that there is no stress associated with saying that. Unlike many other other holidays (we won’t mention their names to protect the innocent) Chanukah doesn’t bring any stress with it at all. It is just pure fun! Family get-togethers, fun trips (check out Fun In Jerusalem for top favorites), Chanukah songs, presents, eight days of good times and no pre-holiday madness!
Where does it come from?
Its origins may not be rooted in fun and we, of course, must remember why we are celebrating. During the time of the 2nd Temple, the Holy Land was ruled by the Greeks. The Greeks made Torah learning illegal, outlawed Mitzvot like Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh, Brit Mila and set up idols in the Beit HaMikdash. No one could stand up against them, until Mattityahu and his sons rose up and drove them from the land. The Chanukah lights remind us of the great miracle that a small band of Jews defeated the mighty Greek armies. Additionally, the Greeks had made all the oil in the Beit HaMikdash impure. Miraculously, the Maccabees found one jar that had been overlooked. But it only had enough oil for one day. A miracle occurred and the oil burned for eight days! The Maccabees were able to reclaim the Beit Hamikdash and we commemorate these great miracles every year by celebrating Chanukah.
And so back to the fun! Chanukah brings with it many great traditions, lighting Chanukah candles, playing dreidel and eating latkes and sufganiot. What could be more fun then that? My personal favorite part of the holiday is making and eating latkes. The smell of the oil heating up, the potatoes being fried up and then finally getting to eat those delicious golden latkes, dipped in applesauce and sour cream (try it, you may like it!)
Here’s the recipe that I use for my latkes. They have been highly rated by my kids (which believe me, is no small feat).
I always give credit for my recipes but unfortunately, I can’t remember where I got this one:
2 cups of peeled and shredded potatoes
1 tablespoons grated onions
3 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ cup oil for fryer
Strain potatoes, taking out as much water as possible
Stir potatoes, onion, eggs, flour and salt together
Drop by spoonful into oil.
Fry into golden brown
Serve with applesauce and sour cream
Eat and enjoy while watching this fun Chanukah video from the Maccabeats!