Posts Tagged ‘hanukah’

Accu Holidays — Jewish site of the week

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

ok, so maybe this isnt specifically a “Jewish” site, but we had to give a shout out to Accu Radio, an online radio service that plays great songs year round, for creating a complete channel just for Hanukkah.

We listened for a little while, and it’s not actually all “hanukah” music — more like Jewish music (we heard Avinu Malkeinu in there), but at least they’re giving it a shot.  It reminds us of how grocery stores advertise matzo ball soup mix and kosher grape juice in their Hanukah ads, as if we celebrate every holiday with chicken soup…

Nevertheless, for finally giving us Jews something to listen to, 24 hours a day (if you can endure it that long), much nachas to Accu Radio, our site of the week.

Click here to visit the Accu Radio Holidays page, where you can click on “smooth Hanukkah” to open the Jewish station.

The First Hanukah Gifts were Tzedakah!

Monday, December 14th, 2009

These days, it’s become tradition to give friends and relatives gifts on Hanukah. But did you know that originally, Hanukah gifts, or “gelt,” were small amounts of money, given to children, who were then instructed to give it to tzedakah as a way of sharing the blessings of Hanukah.

Over time, that custom shifted, and the children kept the gelt for themselves, thus missing the point of the exercise. The purpose has become even more skewed, as gelt for tzedakah has been replaced by toys and other gifts.

So, maybe this year, we can kick it old-school and give a little bit to charity on one night, as we open our Nintendo Wii or new sweater the next.

Hanukah 101

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Hanukkah, or the Festival of Rededication, celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE. Although it is a late addition to the Jewish liturgical calendar, the eight-day festival of Hanukkah has become a beloved and joyous holiday. It is also known as the Festival of Lights and takes place in December, at the time of year when the days are shortest in the northern hemisphere.


Beginning in 167 BCE, the Jews of Judea rose up in revolt against the oppression of King Antiochus IV Epiphanes of the Seleucid Empire. The military leader of the first phase of the revolt was Judah the Maccabee, the eldest son of the priest Mattityahu (Mattathias). In the autumn of 164, Judah and his followers were able to capture the Temple in Jerusalem, which had been turned into a pagan shrine. They cleansed it and rededicated it to Israel’s God. This event was observed in an eight-day celebration, which was patterned on Sukkot, the autumn festival of huts. Much later rabbinic tradition ascribes the length of the festival to a miraculous small amount of oil that burned for eight days.

Click here to continue with Hanukah 101!

Your Hanukah 101 lesson is brought to you courtesy of 

Hanukkah Site — Jewish Site of the Week

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

We like this site for two reasons — it helps us find good deals on Hanukkah gifts, and it has more latke recipes than we could possibly make in 10 years.

Who knew that you could make “carrot-almond” or “corn and red pepper” latkes!?! My, what a world we live in!

For its creative list of latke recipes, fun family activity ideas and a list of great gift deals updated daily, we name Hanukkah Site as our site of the week!

The original latkes were cheese — not potato!

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Any historian worth his weight in potatoeswould tell you that the potato was a new-world food, introduced to Europe well after the story of Hanukah took place 2200 years ago.  Thus, it was pretty difficult for anyone to make potato latkes back in the old-world.

It is therefore believed that the first fried pancakes at Hanukah time were made of cheese and egg, rather than the delicious potato concoctions we enjoy today.

Wanna try a cheese latke?  You’ll find a few cheesy recipes here, as well as all sorts of other strange latke blends, you probably never knew existed!