I am more Jewish than most people, but not Jewish enough to be considered Jewish by most Jews, if that makes any sense. In other words, I have some Jewish heritage, but I’m not, nor have I ever been, Jewish by religion. However, I have always been in and around American Jewish culture. Starting in college, I’ve developed a real appreciation for Judaism and Judaica. And one aspect that I really like is Chanukah. It’s not a holiday that I celebrate, but it is one that I enjoy.
Hanukka has a lot going for it given that it’s a minor, non-biblical holiday. The Chanukka story is great. It’s fun reading about the Maccabees. It’s the ultimate underdog story, and who doesn’t love an underdog? And the Miracle of the Oil is also great. It’s not a big miracle, like the parting of the Red Sea. Instead it’s a very relatable miracle, and one that is symbolically resonate.
There are a ton of great kid’s books about Hannukah. My daughter and I have had lots of fun reading them. It doesn’t even need to be near Channukah, and we still have fun reading them. The Miracle of the Potato Latkes and The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin are particular favorites. Anything that I can share with my daughter is good in my book.
Dreidels and candles are both lots of fun. I’ve always liked watching tops spin. Adding some gambling to it just makes it better. Candles give us a good excuse to play with fire and who doesn’t like that?
Another thing that I love about Hannuka is that there are about a million different ways to spell Channuka. I know that’s a silly thing, but I like it.
Since we’ve reached the 25th of Kislev, I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Hannukkah. Whether you are Jewish or not, I hope you have fun with it. I know I will.