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Lots of Latkes

November 21, 2010, by

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, kosher.com and the OU Shabbat

Hanukkah and Independence Day

December 16, 2009, by

Is Hanukkah merely a holiday telling us a heroic story of battles won and political victories gained, like the American Fourth of July or the French Fourteenth of July? A political event, even one of the greatest importance, can be celebrated only as long as the people view it as a turning point in history,

Vayeishev: Lighting the Chanukiah in Shul

December 10, 2009, by

The gemara states that the mitzva of Chanuka lights is “a candle to each man and his house” (ner ish u’veito). No mention is made of lighting in shul. However, many Rishonim from various communities mention the custom to light in Beit Knesset as well, and it seems that this lighting was widespread by the

The Two Dreams of Chanukah

December 9, 2009, by

The story of Hanukkah is typical of all our confrontations in the Galut, the Diaspora. In aristocracy, each family has a coat of arms, an emblem. What was the emblem of Joseph? It was the ketonet passim, of course, the multicolored coat, a coat composed of stripes that his father made for him (Gen. 37:3).

Miracles and Dreidles

December 8, 2009, by

WHAT A MODEST, SPINNING TOP CAN TEACH US ABOUT MIRACLES We live in an age of miracles and wonder. Does that sound like a ridiculous statement to you – to characterize the age of the Internet, gene therapy, and biological science as an age of miracles? For many people, it does sound ridiculous. To their

Light That Menorah! Candle Making at Kassel

December 24, 2008, by

  Chanukah commemorates a miracle from ancient times when Jews rededicated a temple and lit candelabra with enough oil to last for one day. The oil miraculously burned for eight days, according to the Chanukah story. Chanukah is celebrated by lighting a menorah for eight nights. One can light with oil or candles. And there

Chanukah: Doughnuts With a Difference

December 18, 2008, by

A few years ago I started thinking about Hanukkah in May. I was at a Greek festival, and I tasted a pastry that struck me as the perfect Hanukkah treat. At the festive outdoor celebration, I saw a long line of people. Instead of watching the lively dancers in their colorful costumes, they focused their

Vayeishev: Ner Chanuka & Ner Havdalah

December 18, 2008, by

On motzei Shabbat during Chanuka we must make havdala to mark the departing Shabbat and also light the Chanuka lights corresponding to the coming day. Which has precedence? Shulchan Arukh (OC 681) states that in Beit Knesset the Chanuka lights should be lit first; the Rema adds that the same rule applies at home. This

Latkes Fit to Fry

December 18, 2008, by

I’m bored. Maybe it’s the 40-year itch, but I’ve been making the same Hanukkah potato latkes for decades. (Not that there’s anything wrong with them. Several years ago, in reviewing my first cookbook “Melting Pot Memories,” Food Editor Cathy Thomas of The Orange County Register called them “crispy-brown snowflakes” and “lacy, almost-crunchy wonders”…but I don’t

Chanukah, 165 B.C.E

December 18, 2008, by

Moshe leapt from one roof to the next, his heart pounding wildly*. His two pursuers leapt after him, spears pointed at his back. They had been chasing him for what seemed like an eternity, but finally Moshe saw his escape. The gap between the roof he was standing upon and the roof to the right