Nostalgia Sunday – Hannuka like it used to be

December 28, 2008 - 10:25 PM by

hannuak_stuffBack in the old days, children, Hannuka was a simple holiday without all the hoopla surrounding it today. The Hannuka menorah had eight branches and space for a ninth shamash candle in the center.

We lit the menorah with candles from Israel that came in a box decorated with some young fellows who became part of the family, meaning that, as the years wore on, one barely noticed that they were weird-looking and awkward – just happy to see them again.

We ate latkes, deep fried and slathered in sour cream and applesauce. We were given hannuka gelt, in both chocolate and coin form, and gambled it away playing dreidel. Yes, here and there an elderly relative would try to get us to play for walnuts, as they did in the olden days, but we were hard-nosed little capitalists and stuck with the legal tender.

There were none of these new-fangled conceptual art menorahs, like this one here, called Hanukit. hanukit01 Just plain old cast metal hannukiyot.

As the leitmotif of the day, it seems appropriate to explain that the name “Operation Cast Lead” comes from a children’s song by our national poet Haim Nahman Bialik. Translated, it goes: “My teacher gave me a dreidel / A dreidel made of cast lead / Do you know what it’s for? / Do you know what it’s for? / It’s for the hannuka holiday.” And so, they who name military campaigns, in their attempt to be clever, have ruined something lovely; will we ever again be able to sing that song without irony?


2 Comments on Nostalgia Sunday – Hannuka like it used to be

  1. Nicky on Mon, Dec 29th 2008 10:46 AM
  2. I wondered where that dreadful name came from…

  3. David-Joe on Wed, Dec 31st 2008 2:36 AM
  4. There are many in the diaspora that will not make aliyah , never mind only visit, because over the years Israel has weakened its image as a deterrent. And not only do Israel’s enemies take solace from this, but non-Israeli Jews have their confidence eroded.

    Hamas, for example knows that the longer a situation such as the current one goes on, the higher the probability that Israel will lose a weak nerve, look ridiculous after the rhetoric such as that of Barak recently, strike some sort of “humanitarian” truce and in the end not send in ground forces – or worse do it half-heartedly.

    I am an Israeli but left Israel because I saw a weakeness rising that I never witnessed ever and for the forst time in my life, I did, and still do, sadly feel that Israel may not survive. Why? Because Israel today is a weak nation philosphically.

    Israel no longer respects or teaches Zionism. In fact the Israeli “intelligentsia” deride it. They believe that Israel can survive without it.

    Further, the “leaders” of Israel are timid. They take action in defense where logic does not exist – for example: why has it taken so long for the Israeli government to react to the assault on places such as Sderot?

    What changed? The accusation of immorality and I would say sedition can be levellled at that most despicable man, Olmert. He is a real SOB and the rest of the Israeli govt are no better.

    They measure things according to the “suffering” ofg the enemy and consider the enemy intheir calculations.

    Thomas Jefferson wrote that the only legitimate reason for a government to exist, is the protection of individual rights.

    Defence against foreign invaders is primary and Israel can be accused of having failed miserably.

    And I doubt that Israel has the will to follow through this time, much the way they failed in Lebanon in 2006.

    I do not want my children to serve in the IDF and be led by what is the worst example of Israeli leadership that the country has ever known.

    What can those families of those that were killed in Lebanon feel today? What a waste of precious life.

    Israel is a country in danger and the greatest danger comes from itself. So sad.

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