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It's the 25th of Kislev ...

 
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 09:41 am
We lit the candles last night, lots of fun. Sozlet was entranced by the whole thing. I thought about my grandma a lot.

I have to say that for all the "PC!!" squawking I really appreciate that sozlet's school teaches about Christmas AND Hanukkah AND Kwanzaa. She knew a lot about Hanukkah, filled me in on a bunch of stuff.

She was disappointed we didn't have a dreidel though, oops. Will get one, and some gelt, today I think. She did bring home a paper one -- you cut it out of paper, tape it, and attach it to a pencil -- but I want a proper one. Trader Joe's always has gelt, not sure where to get a dreidel, Cost Plus World Market maybe.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 09:49 am
Soz, maybe at this time of year you could find one at a toy store.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 09:53 am
Jes - thanks for the latke recipe!!! We read a story, in one first grade classroom, about a family who was both jewish and christian. The story starts with Chanukah, one the day they put the menorah away, they go out and buy a tree. There is emphasis on the concept of light and warmth on dark cold days. I wish I could remember the title.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 09:58 am
Oh I missed that, thanks Jes and thanks littlek for pointing it out!

That's the first part of this that gets familiarity and nostalgia from me, mmm, latkes!

Sozlet gets "Ladybug" and "Spider" magazines and they both had Hanukkah stories, too. I don't remember them now but they were good.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 10:01 am
Found the book title and author....
Light The Lights! A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah And Christmas. By Margaret Moorman
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sozobe
 
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Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 10:01 am
Thanks, I'll see if I can find it. I like the combo aspect.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 10:02 am
jespah wrote:
Quote from the Jews on Mars: "But it's a dry heat."


HAHA!
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sozobe
 
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Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 10:03 am
Just bought it! (Love Amazon one-click...)
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 10:05 am
Yay! I love sharing good books.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 10:08 am
One thing we talked about last night is that by the time we're done with Hanukkah and lighting candles it will be only 2 days until Christmas. Sozlet LOVED that aspect, that basically there will be nothing but celebration from now until January. (My birthday is between Christmas and New Year's.)
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 10:29 am
Its not gone unnoticed by me how the Jews are in the process of trashing the spirit of Hannukah in a manner similar to the way that Christians have profaned the spirit of Christmas. It aint just lattkes, squishy chocolate coins, and a roll of stockings for the Jewish kids anymore. Now theres a huge Menorah being projected on a side of a building with moving flames , and each day the people watch for the new candle, and gifts and spoiling the crap out of kids is slowly taking over.
Im gonna turn Amish, screw it.
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sat 16 Dec, 2006 10:30 am
Happy Hanukkah, one and all. This is a great thread, showing how people from all over the world celebrate hanukkah--that's one of the best things about a2k.

I get an Italian cooking newsletter and it had a good article about Italian Jews and, at the end, some yummy recipes. Here is a link and an excerpt from the article:

http://italianfood.about.com/od/holidaymenus/a/aa120998.htm

One unexpected victim of the tragedy was Italian Jewish cooking; it was primarily family oriented, and almost entirely passed on from mother to daughter, aunt to niece. Many of the younger women establishing families had been too young to cook before the war and now had nobody to turn to. Mira, on the other hand, still had her mother to learn from and remembered the dishes prepared by her aunts and neighbors. Once her children were grown they asked her to write down the recipes they had loved in childhood. She did, under the title Italian Jewish Cooking (Hill of Content Publ., Melbourne Australia -- I have an Italian translation).
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jespah
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 08:23 am
farmerman wrote:
Its not gone unnoticed by me how the Jews are in the process of trashing the spirit of Hannukah in a manner similar to the way that Christians have profaned the spirit of Christmas. It aint just lattkes, squishy chocolate coins, and a roll of stockings for the Jewish kids anymore. Now theres a huge Menorah being projected on a side of a building with moving flames , and each day the people watch for the new candle, and gifts and spoiling the crap out of kids is slowly taking over.
Im gonna turn Amish, screw it.


Stockings?

Anyway -- yes -- here comes a rant, my apologies for the downer -- I think this is an Americanization, that it ain't a holiday unless it gets press. Well, it's a freakin' small holiday, truth be told, it's Arbor Day or Flag Day, nothing huge, it's an accident of the calendar more than anything else. But in some ways, the publicizing of it isn't so bad, and I'll tell you why.

Christmas has been sold to this country (yes, I mean sold, sorry if that sounds harsh) as something that Americans do, as if it were a red, white and blue holiday, mixed in with the red and green. But it's not, it's a Christian holiday, and being one of the 4% who don't celebrate it can make for some interesting interpretations of one's own faith. But this year I've been told to take my celebrations elsewhere because I ain't in the Christmas spirit. Well, duh! I can't be in the Christmas spirit. I don't believe in Christ.

But it's also being sold, in an increasingly nasty society, as being well, unAmerican if you don't celebrate Christmas, so you better move your own non-Christmas celebration aside and make way for the steamroller that is Christmas, because your foreign rituals are -- what, exactly? Disgusting? Scary? Offensive? Perplexing? The hiding is nothing new. It's the kind of thing that used to happen during the Inquisition. Here's a lovely editorial by Lou Dobbs, it was on CNN, telling me, well, "Merry Christmas! That's right, Merry Christmas. Whether you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, pagan, barbarian or whatever, Merry Christmas!

It's what most of us say in this country come this time of year. It's about who we are, where we are and where we've been. And all the namby-pamby, little sensitive darlings among us who can't handle this verbal assault on their delicate senses should immediately begin seeking emergency psychiatric care
." Uh, no, numb nuts. I'm not overly sensitive, I'm just asking for you to recognize that some of us aren't like you. This is America, remember? Land of Chinese folks in New York, Mexican people in Kansas City and Somalians in Massachusetts. We aren't a monolith, a fact that I like to think makes us stronger. But hey, have your figgy pudding and complain about a small minority of people who aren't like you and somehow that bothers you. Sorry, you poor sensitive darling. Perhaps emergency psychiatric care will be covered in your health plan.

Anyway -- to get off the rant and head back to the festivities -- I have plenty of family members who aren't Jewish. Not just atheist, but we've also got a large, thriving Catholic wing. Their kids are older but Light the Lights! sounds great, I'll keep it in mind as I'm sure this situation will come up again.

PS The Italian Jewish recipes (at the bottom of the link that Diane provided) look to die for. I have, I kid you not, a Swedish cousin who started life in Spain but ended up in Italy during the Second World War, he was hidden by the family's nanny, if I recall correctly. I'll ask him if he knows any of those dishes.

PPS Celebrations into January! That's the spirit! Hey, it beats Seasonal Affective Disorder. Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Smile
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sozobe
 
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Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 09:52 am
Fab rant, Jes! Especially pointing out who is actually hypersensitive, there.

I got gelt at TJ's and hoped they'd have a dreidel but they didn't. Made the paper one, worked better than I expected. Sozlet and I played last night, she crushed me. Sigh. (She had a TON of fun doing so, though. Much delighted cackling... :-D)
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littlek
 
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Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 09:59 am
Jes - I love that rant. I want to print it out and save it!
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Eva
 
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Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 10:44 am
Speaking as a Christian, albeit a liberal one, I think it's high time we separate Christmas as it is celebrated from Christianity. It has long since ceased to be a religious holiday for most Christians. It is a cultural celebration.

I don't buy the "Christian" interpretations of all the symbols...the tree, the presents, Santa Claus, the foods, etc. Those may have had religious beginnings, but that's not what Christmas means to most people. It's a secular tradition now.

And that's not a bad thing.

It's a good thing to have a season where people get together and give gifts to their friends and relatives. Where they remember those less fortunate. Where they delay the onset of dull, gray winter by decorating everything in sight.

I have no problem disconnecting Christ from Christmas. I can celebrate the birth of the Christ child in my heart all year long. And I do. But fruitcake and eggnog and glittery tinsel and well-deserved time off from work and responsibilities have nothing to do with that. I enjoy them all, and I don't see any reason why my Jewish and athiest friends shouldn't be able to enjoy them with me.
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Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 12:58 pm
Hear! Hear!

Personally, I've noticed less nastiness this year than for the last few years, but I'm old enough to glory in selective deafness.

I've imbibed that good, old, aristocratic, Edwardian spirit: "Do what ever you like, as long as you don't frighten the horses."

I accept your right to celebrate any version of the winter holidays--with or without what I consider good taste. Cavort and make merry as you choose, but don't frighten the horses and don't diminish other holiday traditions.

I light a candle on the solstice. I marvel at the Seasonal Yard Displays. I read most of the tear-jerking, heart-warming seasonal feature stories in the newspaper. I exchange some gifts. I make some charitable donations.

My actions are undoubtedly influenced by the Great Levellers, but they aren't determined by the Great Levellers.

I've got my dominion.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 01:08 pm
Eva wrote:
I don't buy the "Christian" interpretations of all the symbols...the tree, the presents, Santa Claus, the foods, etc. Those may have had religious beginnings, but that's not what Christmas means to most people. It's a secular tradition now.


That has been Americanised as well: Santa Claus is actually the festivity at December 6 ... even nowadays. A christmas tree is a fir tree (even in that song <sic>). ... ... ...

You certainly know that dreidel is an old German game and has nothing to do with Hanukkah:

Quote:
Our Eastern European game of dreidel (including the letters nun, gimmel, hey, shin) is directly based on the German equivalent of the totum game: N = Nichts = nothing; G = Ganz = all; H = Halb = half; and S = Stell ein = put in. In German, the spinning top was called a "torrel" or "trundl," and in Yiddish it was called a "dreidel," a "fargl," a "varfl" [= something thrown], "shtel ein" [= put in], and "gor, gorin" [= all].

When Hebrew was revived as a spoken language, the dreidel was called, among other names, a sevivon, which is the one that caught on.

Thus the dreidel game represents an irony of Jewish history. In order to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah, which celebrates our victory over cultural assimilation, we play the dreidel game, which is an excellent example of cultural assimilation! Of course, there is a world of difference between imitating non-Jewish games and worshipping idols, but the irony remains nonetheless.
Source
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 04:32 pm
Ha, awesome info re the dreidel, Walter, it makes sense, it's certainly a German and/or Yiddish word and not a Hebrew one. And Eva, I'm with ya. Let's call it Winterfest and be done with it. Charity, presents, decorations, lights, songs, days off, pleasantries all around -- a festival of being, to use a Yiddishkeit term, a mensch.

littlek, my friend, feel free. And thank you all for listening.

On with the third night o' candle-lighting, but first RP and I are going out for totally nontraditional Mexican food, seeing as it is the 18th anniversary of our first date. Smile

Party on.
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mac11
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Dec, 2006 05:06 pm
Excellent rant, jes. I couldn't agree more.

Happy Hannukah, everyone!
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