Thursday, December 6, 2007

first night of Hanukkah

Peleg and I celebrated first night of Hanukkah on Tuesday. We had his family over. Peleg made Latkes and his mother brought the traditional jelly donuts that she bought at a Jewish bakery. Foods fried in oil are meant to remind us of the oil in the lamp that was only enough for one night but lasted the whole eight nights necessary to purify the temple and rededicate it to Yahweh. The Greeks had desecrated the temple (the second temple in Jerusalem) by converting it to Zeus worship and the Jewish fighters called the Maccabees had fought the Greeks (and won!) to regain control of their land and culture in 165 BCE.

We lit the Menorah. Peleg’s mother said the blessing in Hebrew. And then we reminded each other of the story of the Maccabees and the miracle of the lamp and then we went around the table and everybody shared a “miracle” that they had been feeling lately. I shared the miracle of being included in a new family that was able to teach me about religious traditions that I didn’t learn growing up in my own family.

And then we ate and were silly.

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