Hanukkah When Is It Celebrated and Why | And No, It Isn't An Adam Sandler Song


Hanukkah When Is It Celebrated and Why | And No, It Isn't An Adam Sandler Song - Alef Bet by Paula

Hanukkah is not only an Adam Sandler Song.

It is not only a gift-giving day that comes in December.

It is not only a holiday where the oil lasted for eight days and we rejoice.

This article by the Sun is a bit cringe-worthy.

Call us the grinch of Hanukkah season, but hold-my-latkas-it's-bad!

adam sandler

The Sun article actually listed out the words, the lyrics, of the Adam Sandler song.  As if that is our BIG achievement for the Hanukkah celebration/holiday.

Hold my yarmulke!

And brisket!

I didn't grow up eating brisket because it was a cheaper cut of meat in the old days during this festival of lights, did you?

And I never got golden gelt chocolate in place of gifts.  (But, I might have appreciated the two gifted together if I may add that piece of useless info here.)

I did eat latkas though.

So, let's turn this "highly intelligent Sun article" around and get some facts.

Adam Sandler, funny dude.

Doesn't define Hanukkah music.

Kveller.com wrote an article and listed their top ten Hanukkah songs.  You can listen to them here.

They are no Mariah Carey, that is for sure.

But, a girl can dream that one day a good song will come about. Drake, can you hear us?

And let's go for food.

We're skipping over any thoughts of brisket.

And, if you've grown up in an Ashkenazi home and were served jello-molds during holiday dinners, we're skipping right over you too!

(Let me know if you had these plopped onto your holiday table growing up, because I never had a family celebration without one, and it just can't be my family that thinks jello is a main dish)

Back to food:

Again, we're skipping over brisket.


A traditional food for Hanukkah-- gloriously deep fried.

The crunch of the potatoes just perfect as it blends in with the soft inner texture of the potatoes. 

A hash brown for sure. 

Perfection for the potato lover.

See, the fried foods represents the oil that the Maccabbes needed to light up the Temple that was destroyed by the Greeks. 


So, now we light 8 candles and eat a bunch of oily foods.

Like latkas, and donuts.

latka picture

Here's a basic recipe for latkas from the Food Network.

And here's a fancy recipe for latkas from Whatjewwannaeat

fancy latka

Note to the clean freak: these are seriously smelly and messy to make.  If it isn't below freezing and snowing outside, fry these delightful potato pancakes outdoors.

Trust me, you'll thank me later.

Now onto doughnuts.

Fried dough-- OMG!

In Hebrew they are called sufganiyot and are traditionally found stuffed with gooey, fruity jelly.

Here is an Egyptian, unstuffed donut, called a Zalabia from the Jewish Food Society website. 

Looks worth every calorie.


sufganiyot jewish food society

I mean, come on this looks delicious, right?

jelly donuts

Here's a simple recipe online.

Of course, we were distracted by images of yummy, deep fried, glistening foods-- which can easily happen.  We need to focus back to the story of Hanukkah and why The Sun article on the beginning of this blog post was so... grinch-worthy.

Back to the facts.

Why did they try to destroy the Second Temple and Judaism?

They hated Jews.

But, we conquered them and made them run back home.

Of course, not without a fierce battle that claimed many lives and destroyed the holy Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Judah and the Maccabees, not to be confused with the group the Maccabeats, rose up to the occasion and destroyed the evil haters.

But, when it came to rebuilding and finding light when there was only darkness, a tiny vessel of oil was the only thing found among the rubble and it miraculously lasted for eight days.

So, head back to the year of 164 BCE and the Syrian Greeks, who had been occupying the Land of Israel since before 167 BCE are in a battle with the Jews, who find it quite fine to remain Jews.

The Hellenistic Greeks, they want to squash the Jewish religion and ban anyone from practicing it-- so they attempt to destroy Jerusalem and the Second Temple. They did end up doing a ton of damage, but they did lose the battle. 

Thankfully they lost.

The Jews-- lead by Judah Maccabee, were able to win and liberate the Second Temple in Jerusalem.  With destruction all around, the soldiers were able to find a small jar of oil that the high priests had somewhere hidden in the Temple.  The oil, meant to last for one night, miraculously held up for eight.

And all of that can be read about in the Book of Maccabees. 

And so sorry, but Adam Sandler doesn't sing about those heroes.

He does mention some high-up Jews though.

I am not on the list, but hey-- all is good. 

I get to share fun facts and food. And make jewelry.

So, check out my store if you'd like: www.alefbet.com

And be sure to let me know about the story of Chanukkah or Hanukah as found in the Sun magazine.

One of our readers said a fourth grader must have written it.  I laughed at that comment.

Let me know your thoughts,







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