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Happy Hanukkah
Hanukkah begins in the evening of Tuesday, December 20, 2011, and ends in the evening of Wednesday, December 28, 2011.

Hanukkah an 8-day Jewish holiday beginning on the 25th of Kislev and commemorating the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem after its defilement by Antiochus of Syria. goes into detail.

The three most known Hanukkah Traditions:

Lighting the hanukkiyah: Every year it is customary to commemorate the miracle of the Hanukkah oil by lighting candles on a hanukkiyah. The hanukkiyah is lit every night for eight nights. Learn more about the hanukkiyah in: What Is a Hanukkiyah? | How to Light the Hanukkah Menorah | Hanukkah Candle Lighting Blessings.

Spinning the dreidel: A popular Hanukkah game is spinning the dreidel, which is a four-sided top with Hebrew letters written on each side. Read The Hanukkah Dreidel to learn more about the dreidel, the meaning of the letters and how to play the game. Gelt, which are chocolate coins covered with tin foil, are part of this game.

Eating fried foods: Because Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, it is traditional to eat fried foods such as latkes and sufganiyot during the holiday. Latkes are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions, which are fried in oil and then served with applesauce. Sufganiyot (singular: sufganiyah) are jelly-filled donuts that are fried and sometimes dusted with confectioners’ sugar before eating.

Here is a rendering of the Dreidel Song:

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[SIZE=4]I told you I had the body of a 25 year old....

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happy Hanukkah

im into Judaism a little
Happy Hanukkah

[Image: happyhanukkahballoon.jpg]

Proud to be Gay & Pagan

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31.10 Samhain, All Hallows Eve, Halloween
21.12 Yule
STOP eating Animals !
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May every candle you light, make your Hanukkah extra bright.
May the lights of Hanukkah usher in a better world for all humankind.

Happy Hanukkah.
Happy Hanukkah, to one and all..
[SIZE="3"][COLOR="Green"]Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Oscar Wilde[/COLOR][/SIZE]
Hey, guys! Well, it's been a great 8 nights!

Hanukkah really is a minor Jewish holiday but it's my favorite. It's really a mishmash of different celebrations. I was taught that it was originally a second Sukkot (kind of a thanksgiving for the harvest) and marked the time of year when days grew shorter. It was always a celebration. It was much later that the holiday was rededicated and named Hanukkah to celebrate the miracle of another Jewish survival and victory from cultural assimilation! Xyxthumbs

Hanukkah always includes one Shabbat, the New Moon (Rosh Chodesh) and the eight days remind us of the bris (covenant of circumcision). So, the symbolism of the miracle of the small amount of oil that burned for eight days kind of reflects the rededication of the temple/covenant.

So, my mom decorates our house in silver and Jew blue! :biggrin: It’s really pretty and festive. This year the first days landed in the middle of my finals and my two younger sisters' mid-term exams. So, we kind of started off low-key and really every family does something different. We do receive small gifts each night and my mom and dad do a charity challenge-match with us. My sisters and I get together and select a charity, we have a charity box and we make donations all year (one of my sisters shakes down guests for their spare change :tongueSmile and then my parents match what we’ve collected. This year we selected a local children's hospital because one of my sisters read about the kids wanting tricycles to ride around the hospital.

Just to give you an idea of how things go, my mom fried chicken, latkes and breaded veggies (broccoli, red peppers and eggplant) one night. We each have our own menorah (or two to use, some we've made in school and then my parents have a really pretty one they received for a wedding gift). We sing the blessing and each light our own menorah. Then the night we all were finished with exams we did play Spin the Dreidel game for gelt (awesome Belgium chocolate coins). Some people might find this lame but it's fun and I enjoy it. :redface:

I usually get books, and gift cards (money is given in increments of $18 because 18 represents “chai” or life). My dad gave me a book by a gay orthodox rabbi someone told him about, so he and I are going to read that. I got a Tao book I had on my amazon wishlist and my mom gets me a Peanuts (the comics strip) book every year. And, she got me rainbow candles and a new artsy menorah this year, which I thought was sweet.

We've always been encouraged to do craft gifts. I do woodwork stuff with one of my grandfathers. I have a lot of beautiful women in my life (mom, 2 sisters, 2 grandmothers and a best girl friend) so I try to make them something small but special.

Oh, and our menorahs aren't those big fancy things, they tend to be small and the candles my mom gets burn for about an hour. You never blow out Hanukkah candles, they have to burn down each night.

My favorite holiday song Chanukah, Oh Chanukah.

We got together with extended family Friday night, we all went to Shabbat service, and everyone had fixed something to eat and my mom cooked lamb. We don't do the donuts, my mom makes snow cookies (Jewish wedding cookies), Italian chocolate spice cookies, Hanukkah and Christmas cutout cookies.

My mom does decorate a small fake Christmas tree, she didn't want us to think we were bad kids when we were little and Santa wasn't stopping to bring us presents. She likes Christmas music and collects ornaments. :tongue: This year, we had a Christmas lunch and then a Hanukkah evening. We always have A Christmas Story playing on the TV at some point. Roflmao I've never felt it took anything away from Hanukkah because sometimes Hanukkah is in November. As my sisters and I have gotten older things have shifted away from Christmas presents. IDK it just works for us. :biggrin:

I hope everyone enjoyed their respective celebrations. Shalom.
[COLOR="DarkSlateBlue"]Deep wells must be dug
If you want clear water
Rose-red oh Rose-red
deep waters don’t run still

~ Rammstein - Rosenrot[/COLOR]

Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next. ~ Jonas Salk

You don't shine by putting out someone else's light.

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