Monday, December 14, 2009

Our First Chanuka in Israel

As I have commented so many times before, this first year of Aliya is, quite obviously, filled with "firsts" quite frequently. This past Friday night, with the arrival of Shabbat, we began our first Chanuka in Israel. As soon as we finished lighting, I left for shul hoping to pass dozens of people as they still were lighting or singing a song. I was not disappointed! I passed Chanukiot of all shapes and sizes and placed in all different locations. Some were outside at the entrance of their buildings; some were in windows, some were in doorways and others perched high above the street on a mirpesset (balcony). But...what was beautiful was that everywhere I looked I saw Chanuka being observed. It was magnificent to witness!

There was a different kind of first for us as well this week. Tonight (Monday night), we are all home for Chanuka together for the first time in THREE years! It is so nice to have all three of my daughters together with us and the hustle and bustle that goes with it.

While in the United States, the main "staple" of Chanuka is latkes (read: Levivot), here the main food is, of course, the Sufganiyot (jelly donuts). For those of you who have not had one or may not know what Sufganiyot are, let me try to paint a picture: Imagine taking a small blob of dough, dropping it into a vat of oil, removing this oily blob and then drop it into a vat of more oil and then once it has remained there for a day or so, removing it and then sprinkle it with liberal amounts of powdered sugar. Before it is complete, the baker must take a caulk gun and insert a very sweet, very red substance that vaguely resembles jelly and force it into this oily, dought mixture. Then and only then, are you ready to eat the Sufaginya. While there are all forms of Sufganiyot (including one place that has "designer" ones), the CLASSIC is the jelly product. The average Israeli eats between 986-1,034 Sufganiyot during the 8 days of Chanuka. I, on the other hand, have not had even one (*shudder*) because I can not eat something that I could probably stick a wick in and use as a Chanukia! I have been told that I may have to surrender my Israeli citizenship for not eating one, but at this point I will just have to take my chances.

One final Chanuka note...we have switched from a SHIN to a PEH! Of course, I am referring to the letters on a "svivon" (Dreidel). The miracle happened "POH" (here) and no longer "SHAM" (or over there). The only problem is that some of the popular Chanuka songs don't rhyme with the PEH! Small price to "PEH" for living in Israel (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

1 comment:

  1. Ellen/sister-in-lawDecember 21, 2009 at 7:36 PM

    that was funny b-lated chanukah to all.