Chanukah

Why we increase the number of Hanukkah candles

Rabbi Larry Milder of Beth Emek recently sent this explanation to his congregation. It’s a useful, brief history telling us why we light an additional candle each night of Hanukkah instead of the reverse.   Increasing the Light in Dark Times Most Jews are accustomed to lighting Hanukkah candles by adding one candle to the…

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With which family will you spend the holidays?

Where Will You Spend Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah? Non-Jewish families are often confronted with which spouse’s family will get them for Christmas. One solution is to flip back and forth for Thanksgiving and Christmas. For interfaith families the question of “who gets us?” can be, Thanksgiving with the Jewish family and Christmas with the Christian (or…

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Where do Latkes come from?

A lovely young Irish woman told her mother that she would be attending her first Hanukkah celebration and latkes would be made! Her mother said, “As I understand it, latkes have something to do with potatoes. You’ll be fine!” I’m not Irish and I’m not particularly fond of potatoes. So my latkes include parsnips and…

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My Jewish girlfriend doesn’t like Christmas. What am I doing wrong?

  A holiday season email from a non-Jewish guy came to my Mixed and Matched column: I love Christmas but my Jewish girlfriend won’t participate with me, and this is our first holiday season together. I’ve told her that Christmas isn’t really religious for me. The tree and Yule log are pagan originally; they have…

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