Jewish Holidays

Chanukah – Light or Fire?

November 29, 2010, by

Chanukah is treated in the Talmud in a rather puzzling fashion. In response to the question, “What is Chanukah?” the Talmud relates the story of the cruse of undefiled oil found by a priest in the Temple. Why this relatively minor incident, to the exclusion of almost everything else? Would we not expect the Talmud […]

Sweet Potato Latkes

November 25, 2010, by

Here is one that goes great with Apple Sauce • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated • 2 scallions, finely chopped • 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten • 1 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper • Vegetable oil DIRECTIONS: Stir together potatoes, scallions, flour, […]

Laws of Chanukah

November 25, 2010, by

Chanukah begins on the evening of the 25th of Kislev and continues for eight days. For the entire eight days of Chanukah it is forbidden to fast or to eulogize. It is permitted to work; however it is customary for women not to work for at least the first half hour of the candles’ burning, […]

The Secret of the Dreidel

November 25, 2010, by

The Dreidel A children’s game, played in the firelight of a cold winter night, the Chanukah Menorah silently glowing in the window… The dreidel. Its four sides spinning around the still point in the turning circle; spinning so fast that its sides blur into nothingness… The dreidel. So seemingly insignificant – and yet this little […]

It’s a Woman Thing

November 25, 2010, by

The general rule in Halacha (Jewish Law) is that women are not obligated in time-bound Positive Mitzvot (Commandments); that is, Positive Commandments to be performed at a specific time – for example, Listening to the Shofar or Dwelling in the Sukkah. However, they are obligated in certain time-bound Positive Mitzvot. These include Lighting the Lights […]

Latke Recipes

November 25, 2010, by

Consider the latke (Chanukah’s version of fast food). It is, in my opinion, the absolute best-est, most perfect, delicious use for the potatoes, better even, in some circumstances, than the French fry, potato chip or potato kugel. The latke has a dark golden crispy crunchy outside and soft tasty middle. I suggest that you use […]

The Enlightening Olive

November 25, 2010, by

Fruit ripens and then we eat it, right? Not always. The ripe olive is hard, bitter and inedible. The olives in the jar we bring home from the store have undergone weeks immersed in a brining solution, a process essential to bringing out the unique taste and texture of the particular variety of olive. Similarly, […]

Dairy Recipes for Chanukah

November 25, 2010, by

One of the lesser know but no less important Chanukah traditions is to serve dairy products (think Shavuot with its long Cheese cake tradition) along with the over abundance of fried foods we like to gobble down. Legend has it that a woman named Judith saved her village from the occupying Syrians. Judith fed wine […]

Variations on the Chanukah Theme: Chanukah Candles & Havdalah

October 29, 2010, by

Immediately after Shabbat is over, we shall be confronted with the observance of two precious mitzvot: the kindling of the Chaunkah candles and Havdalah, which marks the end of Shabbat. The question of which shall be performed first is one that engaged the attention of some of the most illustrious latter-day Talmudic sages, and the […]

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