Growing up and still today, I believe that celebrating Hannukka and being Jewish is special! (By the way… there is not an “official” way to spell Hannukka – the main thing is spell it as it sounds but make sure it has 8 letters, one for each night of the celebration.) Throughout my childhood, when my friends would talk to me about getting gifts from Santa, I would sit back, listen quietly and gladly play with all the new toys my friends would receive, for me, it was a win-win!
Hannukka, the Festival of Lights, was my favorite holiday growing up, and it wasn’t because of the eight nights of gifts. Gifts were never very big in my family, my mom focused – and still does, more on the traditions of the holiday and how it brings my family and friends together. While most of my friends were opening their gifts under their Christmas tree, I was eating Latkes (potato pancakes), playing dreidel, and singing and dancing to the holiday songs. I can still remember sitting on the kitchen floor with my friends, both Jewish and Christian, spinning the dreidel and trying not to eat all of my gelt (chocolate coins). We would always host a Hannukka party with whoever wanted to come over. This is one of the reasons I really appreciate about being Jewish, it doesn’t matter what religion you practice because everyone is welcome, it is all about being together and having fun. One thing we would always do is make edible dreidels. There are lots of recipes, but this one is my favorite and is easy to make: a marshmallow for the body, a Hershey kiss for the bottom, a pretzel stick for the top and some peanut butter to stick it all together. The toughest part is not eating it all before you had the chance to see if it could actually spin. A special treat for your ears on this year’s 1st night of Hannuka will happen December 6th, 91.5 FM Showcase will be broadcasting a block party celebrating the miracle of Hannukka. Enjoy the joyous music celebrating the brave Maccabees, the war they fought that they weren’t supposed to win and how the small bit of oil scraped together thousands of years ago to re-consecrate the ransacked temple’s eternal flame, lasted a miraculous eight days and eight nights.
– Jacob Suberman
Special Thanks to Jacob for writing this blog post for us! We are also very thankful for Jacob and will miss him much as he leaves for adventures in banking with a position in Wells Fargo offices located in Orlando. He has contributed so much in the two years that he has been with WFSU Education any many children will miss his monthly visits, storytelling and assistance! Come and visit us anytime Jacob – and Happy Chanukah!