These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Hannukah in Israel

Posted on December 5, 2010 by Shibley

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Cross-posted from my blog:

On Friday afternoon, as I was preparing for Shabbat, I found myself in front of a pan of hot oil. No, I was not making latkes or sufganiyot. I was instead whipping up a batch of shnitzel for Shabbat lunch. With the cooking completed, and grease splatters on my shirt ( don’t worry, it’s the shirt reserved for cooking) I went next door to pick up something from a neighbor, fellow Pardes student, and chevruta. As I walked down the stairs, all I could smell was fried food. I thought the shmek of shnitzel must be especially strong. No, what I was actually smelling was the latkes, sufganiyot, and shnitzel of every other apartment in the building. I reached the bottom of the stairs, and began ascending the stairs of knisa bet (door #2) and I was greeted with the same glorious smell.

Last night, after Shabbat, I was walking through the neighborhood looking out for hannukiot in windows, on doorsteps, outside gates and the like. I have never heard so many renditions of maoz tzur in one twenty minute walk. So as day number five of Hannukah approaches here in Israel, I am looking forward to a walking tour of the Old City, the national hannukia lighting at the Kotel Ha’maravi, and another night of festive celebrations of this beautiful holiday. Between the singing, the lights, and the smells, I have a whole new appreciation for Hannukah as a national celebration, and not as a Hallmark holiday that is attempting to compete with other holidays of the season.

Look out for pictures.

Chag urim sameach!