However you spell it, Hanukkah starts tonight!

This post brought to you by that irrepressible, ever-enlightening buddy o’ mine:

Melisa from Suburban Scrawl!


dreidel1The Festival of Lights, better known as Hanukkah, begins this evening at sundown. The holiday celebrates the rebuilding and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after it was destroyed by the Greco-Syrians, in an effort to force the Jews to pray to Greek gods and compromise their own religious beliefs. During the cleanup efforts at the temple, only one vat of oil—used for lighting the temple’s menorah—was found; this vat was expected to last for only one day. It actually lasted for eight, and that’s why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days! (That was the Miracle of Hanukkah.)

Non-Jews have the impression that Hanukkah is a very important holiday because it occurs right around Christmas. (Dates on the Gregorian calendar vary by the year; actually, Hanukkah occurs on the exact same day annually, on the Hebrew calendar!) However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s actually a very minor holiday in the Jewish religion. (Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is much more important!)

I remember, growing up, that my friends used to tell me how lucky I was that I got gifts for eight nights and they only got gifts on one day. I used to say, “Are you kidding me??? Did you SEE the pile of gifts you open on that one day?” The only real gift-giving tradition related to Hanukkah is actually giving small amounts of gelt, or money; the tradition of giving gifts each night was manufactured to compete with our Christmas-celebrating friends.

My favorite Hanukkah tradition? The grease. Err, I mean, the oil. Because of the Miracle of Hanukkah, we traditionally eat foods cooked in oil. That means that it’s not only acceptable but ENCOURAGED that we enjoy latkes (potato pancakes) fried in oil as well as doughnuts, a traditional dessert. Heck, this year, my family is even having fondue for dinner one night!

As far as music goes, you will never find a sustainable Satellite Radio station that only plays Hanukkah songs, because you’d probably only have an hour of different songs. When you add in all the cover versions by different artists, you might stretch broadcast time to about four hours, tops. In researching playlist.com for this post, I just plain couldn’t find some of the songs I was really hoping to post, but I found eight songs for you, one for each night of Hanukkah. Before you hit the playlist, I want to show you something that is more Christmas-related than Hanukkah, but it’s one of my favorite holiday songs. Those folks at “Saturday Night Live” are so clever! (AND right on: I mean, have you non-Jews ever paid attention to the ghosttown you leave for us on Christmas???)

Happy Hanukkah!


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16 Responses to However you spell it, Hanukkah starts tonight!
  1. Ri O'Laughlin
    December 11, 2009 | 5:44 am

    New Guest Post!! @melisalw give us a li' playlist to go with the dreidels and latkes – Happy Hanukkah, y'all! http://bit.ly/937rFU

  2. Susan H Gottfried
    December 11, 2009 | 5:44 am

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: New Guest Post!! @melisalw give us a li' playlist to go with the dreidels and latkes http://bit.ly/937rFU

  3. Melisa
    December 11, 2009 | 5:44 am

    RT @mbolaughlin: New Post!! @melisalw gave us a li' playlist to go w/ the dreidels & latkes – Happy Hanukkah, y'all! http://bit.ly/937rFU

  4. Ri O'Laughlin
    December 11, 2009 | 7:44 am

    New Guest Post!! @melisalw give us a li' playlist to go with the dreidels and latkes – Happy Hanukkah, y'all! http://bit.ly/937rFU

  5. Ri O'Laughlin
    December 11, 2009 | 7:44 am

    New Guest Post!! @melisalw give us a li' playlist to go with the dreidels and latkes – Happy Hanukkah, y'all! http://bit.ly/937rFU

  6. Susan H Gottfried
    December 11, 2009 | 7:44 am

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: New Guest Post!! @melisalw give us a li' playlist to go with the dreidels and latkes http://bit.ly/937rFU

  7. Melisa
    December 11, 2009 | 7:44 am

    RT @mbolaughlin: New Post!! @melisalw gave us a li' playlist to go w/ the dreidels & latkes – Happy Hanukkah, y'all! http://bit.ly/937rFU

  8. Devilish Southern Belle
    December 11, 2009 | 11:16 am

    That SNL clip was hilarious! Though I am a non-Jew and love hitting the movies on the holidays. That’s become my after-dinner tradition for myself :)

    Great playlist! Enjoy Hanukkah!
    Devilish Southern Belle´s last blog ..Wow, it’s Thursday again, hm? My ComLuv Profile

    • Melisa with one s
      December 11, 2009 | 2:04 pm

      Thanks! Yeah, I think movies on Christmas is a mostly non-denominational thing. The difference is that those of us who don’t celebrate Christmas at all aren’t getting big meals and family gatherings! :)
      Melisa with one s´s last blog ..The Queen of Talk My ComLuv Profile

  9. Susan H Gottfried
    December 11, 2009 | 12:44 pm

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: New Guest Post!! @melisalw give us a li' playlist to go with the dreidels and latkes http://bit.ly/937rFU

  10. Melisa
    December 11, 2009 | 12:44 pm

    RT @mbolaughlin: New Post!! @melisalw gave us a li' playlist to go w/ the dreidels & latkes – Happy Hanukkah, y'all! http://bit.ly/937rFU

  11. Melisa
    December 11, 2009 | 1:05 pm

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: New Guest Post!! @melisalw give us a li' playlist to go with the dreidels and latkes http://bit.ly/937rFU

  12. Susan Helene Gottfried
    December 11, 2009 | 3:00 pm

    My dear, you came up with better songs than I could have. Awesome job.

    Happy Hanukkah! May your latkes be perfect, your donuts full of jelly, and a miracle happen for each candle.
    Susan Helene Gottfried´s last blog ..Byline: Chelle La Fleur — What Happened to Hanukkah??? My ComLuv Profile

  13. Jack
    December 11, 2009 | 6:23 pm

    You forgot Hanukkah Gone Metal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7_LRSjU50Q

  14. Moviemavengal
    December 11, 2009 | 6:48 pm

    Actually, there IS a Satellite Hanukkah station this week (XM 28), but you’re right in that it is a very big stretch for them to fill it 24/7. I enjoyed listening to Ochos Candelikes on the way home from work on night this week!
    Moviemavengal´s last blog ..Hanukkah Hey Ya! My ComLuv Profile

  15. Melisa
    December 11, 2009 | 8:05 pm

    RT @MusicSavvyMom: New Guest Post!! @melisalw give us a li' playlist to go with the dreidels and latkes http://bit.ly/937rFU

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