December 23, 1997
The December dilemma for Jews is, in one sense, easier this year. Hanukkah does not begin until tonight at sundown. Jews feeling at a loss during Christmastime have something else to do on Dec. 25 than go to the movies. In another sense, the convergence of holidays makes keeping them separate that much more difficult. For unlike Christmas for Christians, Hanukkah for Jews is not a major holiday, only a lovely tribal celebration of a long-ago, come-from-behind military victory and a commemoration of the miracle that a drop of oil in an ancient dark temple could burn for eight days.
December 6, 1999 |
As he took part in the big menorah-lighting Hanukkah ceremony for the eighth and final time, Mayor Rendell revealed yesterday that his administration almost went up in smoke before it began. To get to the top of the 30-foot-tall menorah on Arch Street, between Fifth and Sixth Streets, rabbis and dignitaries ascend in the bucket of a Peco Energy Co. cherry picker. "The first year," Rendell told those gathered for last evening's ceremonies, "there was a 45-mile-an-hour wind.
December 5, 1996 |
The story of Hanukkah, which involves a long-ago war for religious liberty, then a miracle of light, got its seasonal telling for an unusual audience yesterday: 66 students from two Philadelphia public schools. The eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights that begins today at sundown, was part of volunteer teacher Sara Goldberg's spiel at the National Museum of American Jewish History. The students were sixth-graders from Julia Masterman and fifth-graders from Robert Lamberton, visiting under a diversity program run by the Peopling of Philadelphia Collaborative.
December 20, 1998
God does not die on the day we cease to believe . . . but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illuminated by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of . . . wonder . . . - Dag Hammarskjold, quotation for the seventh day of Hanukkah courtesy of Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer. O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint. - Koran 2:183, quotation for the first day of Ramadan courtesy of Anas Muhaimin, Ustaath, Quba Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies.
December 25, 2008 |
I've come to believe that God has a twisted sense of humor. A few months ago, the food editor and I were discussing my Hanukkah food column. I (loudly) proclaimed that I wanted to write about so-called "healthy" Hanukkah fare - and what bullhonky that is. "Baked latkes or latkes with Pam spray? Pshaw!" I scoffed. "We're celebrating the miracle of the oil, not the miracle of Pam. " Hanukkah, which began Sunday night and continues through Dec. 28, commemorates the restoration of the temple after the Maccabees defeated the Greek army.
December 18, 2008 |
There's a simple rhyme that Jewish children chant on Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, which starts Sunday night and continues through Dec. 28: Yes, latke is Yiddish for potato pancake. But why are latkes a treat on Hanukkah - why not gefilte fish or matzo ball soup? Because Hanukkah commemorates the time when a one-day supply of oil in the Temple lamp lasted for a full eight days. Thereafter, Jews everywhere celebrated by making treats fried in oil, such as doughnuts and latkes.
December 13, 2010
RE HOWARD Lurie's op-ed, "A Jewish View of the 'Holiday Season' ": I agree, Christmas isn't for every one. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur aren't for everyone either, but schools and government offices are closed to recognize this holiday. It is shameful for a professor with your level of education to say that the only reason we decorate for Hanukkah is because of Christmas. Jews celebrate their holidays, Muslims have Ramadan and black people celebrate Kwanzaa. Christians have Christmas.
December 24, 2012
By Ellen Scolnic and Joyce Eisenberg We're Jewish. Our husbands are Jewish and our kids are Jewish. We've been Jewish for thousands of years. It's not news to us that we don't celebrate Christmas. We've never had a Christmas tree. Never cooked a holiday ham. Never strung the bushes outside our homes with colored lights. But that doesn't mean we don't enjoy yours. We love the trappings of Christmas. We are in the minority - among the 3 percent of Americans who celebrated Hanukkah.
November 27, 2002 |
Let others deck the halls with boughs of holly and light the Hanukkah candles. Humbugs who hate the holidays prefer to spend December scrooging. Davey Stone, for one. "I hate folks who think reindeer are cute. For me they're something to shoot," sings the angriest young man in Dukesberry, the New England hamlet that's home to Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights. This subversive animated musical - imagine Chucky snowboarding into South Park and shattering its holiday ice sculptures - was conceived by Sandler as chicken soup for the sugarplum soul.
November 29, 2005
IN KEEPING WITH the tradition of Festivus, we begin this joyful holiday season with the airing of grievances. Store cashiers disappoint us because they say "happy holidays" after handing you your bags of gifts. What's wrong with just "thank you, hope you avoid bankruptcy. " Some ministers disappoint us because they want to boycott department stores that don't include "Merry Christmas" in their advertisements. Hey, why not protest the whole commercialization of Christmas, Christ or no Christ?