Friday, December 3, 2010
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
Hanukkah (sometimes spelled "Chanukah") is known as the Festival of Lights, a Jewish holiday that commemorates Israel's freedom from the oppressive Syrian-Greek rule and the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
Most Hanukkah traditions take place at home. Each night we light a special lamp called called a menorah or hanukkiah, we play dreidel, and we sing songs. In recent times, under the influence of Christmas, Hanukkah has also become a popular gift-giving holiday.
It is customary to eat deep-fried foods to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah, in which a cruse of oil lasted for eight days instead of one. Some of these foods include:
• Jelly donuts
• Fried torzellio
• Spiced hot chocolate
I graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and when I was in school many years ago, my high school had a 65% Jewish population. I remember going to school while many students were off on religious holiday. At Christmas time, schools were closed for the religious holiday. I was always very understanding of that fact of life. During my four years in high school, I also learned from my fellow classmates - acceptance, tolerance, and many facts concerning different cultures and religions. I believe that was my youthful introduction to acceptance of the differences in mankind and the fact that my home-life taught me not to have prejudices for race, religion, or orientation.
Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate this holiday.