Hanukkah 2009 highlights
Holidays, whether secular or religious, have their special rituals and foods that communicate comfort and joy. Hanukkah is not “just about the food,” but no one can deny that food is an important component of the celebration. Emuna Braverman said in Aish.com:
Although the food is not the essence of the holiday, it’s not quite secondary either.
In that spirit of sharing, let me share with you the highlights of my family’s Hanukkah celebrations (yes, that’s plural since there are 8 days of Hanukkah). Feel free to read our recipes and stories, just in case you missed out on your own Hanukkah celebration.
Our family celebrated Hanukkah in three different ways.
Our congregation celebrates Hanukkah in a big way. Latkes, apple sauce and sour cream overflow the communal table. We will fit as many Hanukkiahs (nine-branched candelabras for Hannukah) onto one little table as humanly possible without causing a fire hazard and we play dreidel until the children get bored and decide to eat the gelt rather than spend it.
Every year, our local Chabad House hosts Hanukkiah lightings throughout Sonoma County. Every year, they host them in more areas of the county. This year, they hosted a lighting in Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Cotati and Sonoma.
We attended the lighting at Oakville Grocery near the Healdsburg Plaza. More than 100 people showed up to sing songs, eat latkes and light candles. The fact that God kept the rain away was a relief and a special blessing for everyone there.
Of course, the best way to celebrate Hanukkah is at home (or as a guest in someone else’s home), sitting around a big table, eating latkes and other traditional foods. The best food seasoning is having a spirited conversation with the people seated all around you. The more candles, the brighter; the more people, the brighter as well.