Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Chanukah in Israel

One of my favorite holidays of all time- but here in Israel, Chanukah is taken to a new level.
Besides for my daughter having learnt in Gan for the last 3 weeks consecutively every last detail about Chanukah- dreidel spins, menorahs are polished and then lit with oil, the Pach Shemen was very important- did I leave anything out- and then actually coming home with several songs about Chanukah, Israel tends to make a big deal about this holiday.
The Ubiquitous Sufganiyot line the street, so much so that you can smell them practically everywhere- caramel, jelly, and plain- you name it, they've got it. Livivot, or Latkes, are being baked everywhere, so potatoes are on sale at your local grocery or makolet.

But not only that- traffic hits a new high at around 4 pm, as everyone frantically rushes home to light their candles as soon as they possibly can. I got home at 5- and my whole block (practically) had their menorahs already proudly displayed in their windows, or in the aquarium boxes on the street. The Kollel men shift their schedule tocome home at 4 and then head back at 6.

I guess it's nice having such a nice, big, deal made of the Chag HaORim, Festival of Lights. It's beautiful to see even those who are not religious celebrating this day. Where I work made a special effort to erect a menorah and light it on time for all the workers still there.

So whereever you are, have a very Happy Chanukah this year, and may we be able to see the Temple that the Jewish people fought for rebuilt speedily in our day.


Anonymous said...

Chanukah in Israel is wonderful - not least because one says 'Nes gadol haya poh': makes it all the more real!!
Enjoy the sufganiyot and levivot!

itsagift said...


Enjoy Chanukah there - I remember how beautiful it is...would love to go back!!

mekubal said...

I thought that most Kollel men were free after four, as they are expected to learn through what would normally be the afternoon break.

nmf #7 said...

Anon613- Thanks- I did :D

Itsagift- Wish you could come back too..

Mekubal- When I wrote this post, I thought most men acted like my husband. Then I polled a few neighbors and got different answers.

Some kollel men learn 1st seder till 1, a short second seder from 2-4, and then go home to light, and stay home. Others learn till 1, learn another short seder from 2:30-4, go home to light, and then go back from 6-8 for another short seder.

Others give off for Chanukah entirely. Others do other weird and wacky schedules.

I most certainly am not the expert on this.
What's your schedule like?