Tag Archives: chanukkah

Day 3

This year, Chanukkah wouldn’t be complete without a glance at the Maccabeats, a group of (former) Yeshiva University students. Last year, they belted out a beloved cover version of “dynamite” (I even heard it in June at Zurich Airport). Here’s a reminder:

This year, they came up with something new. They teamed up with Matisyahu–who recently confused people when he lost his facial hair– and connected the song  with a fundraiser. They are aiming for  $10.000 per day on behalf of the Gift of Life Foundation through  www.MakeSomeMiracles.com.


Day 1 and 2: Chanukkah in the middle ages

Chanukkah, known as the Festival of lights, thanks to Adam Sandler, began on Tuesday.  In honor of the holiday, I’ll try to post a little something each day. I’ll begin by pointing you to  Ophir Münz-Manor‘s wonderful piece on Chanukkah piyyutim over at the Talmud blog, you can read the first installment here.

And the folks at medievalists.net also came up with some  good remarks that include a clip for those too lazy to  read…

Chanukkah in the middle ages

6th candle

Another popular Chanukkah song is “Light one candle’ by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Light one candle

Light one candle for the Maccabee children
Give thanks their light didn’t die;
Light one candle for the pain they endured
When their right to exist was denied;
Light one candle for the terrible sacrifice
Justice and freedom demand;
light one candle for the wisdom to know
When the peacemaker’s time is at hand!

Don’t let the light go out,
It’s lasted for so many years!
Don’t let the light go out!
Let it shine through our love and our tears!

Light one candle for the strength that we need
To never become our own foe;
Light one candle for those who are suff’ring
The pain that we learned long ago;
Light one candle for all we believe in,
That anger not tear us apart;
And light one candle to bind us together
With peace as the song in our heart!


What is the memory that’s valued so highly
That we keep it alive in that flame?
What’s the commitment to those who have died?
We cry out “they’ve not died in vain,”
We have come this far, always believing
That justice will somehow prevail;
This is the burden and This is the promise,
This is why we will not fail!


Don’t let the light go out!
Don’t let the light go out!
Don’t let the light go out!

4th candle

In honor of the fourth candle

Today, some recipes for latkes (potato pancakes, the Kartoffelpuffer of my childhood):

Mama’s basic recipe for latke or Kartoffelpuffer:

(although honestly, ours came mostly frozen)

  • Potatoes
  • Some onion
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 egg
  • some bread crumbs if needed
Grate potatoes and onion; mix in egg and other ingredients. Panfry by spoonfuls in hot oil on both sides until brown and crispy. Serve with applesauce and/or sour cream.

Sweet Potato latkes, baked in muffin tins

From Marilu Henner’s cookbook Healthy Holidays: Total Health Entertaining All Year Round (ReganBooks).

  • 2 tablespoons plus 6 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 medium organic Spanish onion
  • 6 medium organic baking potatoes
  • 2 large cage-free eggs
  • 2 tablespoons matzo meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a heavy nonstick saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add onion and saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Cool.

Coarsely grate the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Squeeze out the excess liquid or drain in a colander. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and mix in the sauteed onion, eggs, matzo meal, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Grease a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan well and pour 1/3 cup potato mixture into each muffin tin. Smooth the tops lightly and spoon 1/2 teaspoon oil over each.

Bake about 45 minutes, or until firm and browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and run a small, sturdy rubber spatula around the edges of the latkes to release them. You can leave them in the pan 15 to 30 minutes to keep hot.

And, of course, a song: I am a latke (Debbie Friedman)

I am so mixed up that I cannot tell you,
I’m sitting in this blender turning brown.
I’ve made friends with the onions and the flour,
And the cook is scouting oil in the town.

I sit here wondering what will come of me,
I can’t be eaten looking as I do.
I need someone to take me out and cook me,
Or I’ll really end up in a royal stew.


I am a latke, I’m a latke
And I am waiting for Chanukah to come
I am a latke, I’m a latke
And I am waiting for Chanukah to come

Every holiday has foods so special,
I’d like to have that same attention too,
I do not want to spend life in this blender,
Wondering what I’m supposed to do.

Matza and choroset are for Pesach,
Chopped liver and challah for Shabbat
Blintzes on Shavuot are delicious,
And gefilte fish no holiday’s without.


It’s important that I have an understanding
Of what it is that I’m supposed to do,
You see, there are many who are homeless,
With no jobs, no clothes and very little food.

It’s so important that we all remember,
That while we have most of the things we need,
We must remember those who have so little,
We must help them, we must be the ones to feed.


Chanukkah is almost upon us!

Here some songs to get ready for sufganiyot (donuts) and latkes (potatoe pan cakes), and dreidels (“gambling”):

הנרות הללו אנו מדליקין (hanerot halelu anu madlikin)

We light these candles

As we kindle the candles remembering the days of old.
Lights full of myst’ry
lights full of hist’ry
sparks from the battles brave and bold
blazing a story
of ancient glory
Macabees who fought to worship free
still standing by us

old Mathias

calls ye faithful come along with me!
as each night we add one light we
add a prayer that freedom is for all
for you know we keep them holy
till the eight are trilling great and small

Maoz Tzur

Rock of Ages let our song
Praise (your) saving power;
Thou amidst the raging foes;
(You were) our sheltering tower
(Our sheltering tower).

Rock of Ages let our song
Praise Thy saving power;
Thou amidst the raging foes;
(You were) our sheltering tower
(Our sheltering tower.)

Furious they assailed us,
But thine arm availed us,
And Thy word broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.

And (your) word broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.

Children of the (Wanderers)
Whether free or fettered
Wake the echoes of the songs
Where ye may be scattered

Yours the message cheering
That the time is nearing
Which will see all men free
And tyrants disappearing

(Hope will see all men free,
And tyrants disappearing)

Lichvod Chanukkah (In honor of Chanukkah)


Father lights the Chanukah candles
The shamash burns so bright
The shamash burns so bright

Do you know why we light them?
Yes, I know why we light them.
Do you know why we light them?
Because it’s Chanukah.

Mother bakes the potato latkes
Latkes so warm and sweet.
Latkes so warm and sweet.