Lesson 44

We’re halfway through, you guys!
Halfway through our donut consumption week!
… What? You didn’t know that you should be eating donuts? Get on it!

It’s Channukah!
Or… It’s Hannukah!
Or… Whichever damned spelling you favour – it’s the Festival of the Lights!

This is the first time in about 40 years, that the first night of Channukah (we have eight nights in total) lined up with Christmas Eve!
The Jewish calendar is on a lunar cycle and the number of days are different to the solar calendar we observe, so holidays seem to “roam” from year to year.
And it has meant that I’ve had the time to actually observe the festival for the first time in years!

I realised, with a week to go, that I didn’t own a menorah, so I hit the internet shops and bought myself a modern, red model – see above.
And, in the best Jewish tradition, my friend Miss Jew-ish and I organised ourselves a little dinner party (at lunchtime – thanks to London public transport on Christmas Eve).
We invited whomever we could find in town that week and we got cooking!

Miss Jew-ish and I already had some experience of catering like Jewish mamas, thanks to our Rosh Hashana efforts a few months back and so, we got to work in the kitchen.
We cooked with all the oil and we fried and fried and fried!
There were latkes and kofta balls and chicken schnitzel pieces.
We did have someone bring us greens, but we quickly followed that up with jam donuts and apple pies and the whole meal was book-ended by challah and Channukah gelt.

I made a lucky dip – so we all got gifts.
The tunes were playing.
I gave a speed run-down on the festival, its story and the subsequent traditions.
We Jew-ed it up!

And then… I rested.
Thanks Christmas Day!

Lesson 44

Miss Jew-ish and another friend of ours, Sir Cook-a-lot have become two of my best people of London in the last few months.
As my Coyotes leave the country, one by one (I’m looking at you, Bega-Baby… don’t gooooooooo!), I’ve been worrying about where my next support network would come from.
And I’ve found it.
With these kids, I’ve cultivated shared interests, I’ve discovered new parts of London and I’ve weathered all kinds of rainy conditions!
We’ve developed our own code words for things and – most importantly – I’ve found a fellow tribeswoman (albeit a clueless one!) and friend to support me on my Jew-missions in life!

Whether these missions be food, holiday or man-related, these two are ready to go into bat for me.
And that means the world to me.
Add them to the list of family members I’m adopting into my life.

The fact that we were discussing when the next holiday is and how we should celebrate it, and the fact that we’ve all sworn we’re not leaving London, just help cement my place here.
And make me happier to be so far from so many people whom I love.

In all honesty, Channukah is not actually a particularly major festival.
I mean, it’s a fun one.
It involves oily food and chocolate coins – what’s not to love?
But, really, it’s not a major festival.
One reason that some people believe it to be – in my opinion – is that it happens to coincide with the Christmas time of year.
Christians feel guilty that we don’t get to share in the fun, so they’ve tried, for years, to boost our excitement with the “But, you have Channukah!”
We do, this is correct.
But they’re not in any way related or alike.
They just happen to fall within the same month or so.

I’m quite happy with my quiet little festival of yummy treats and candles.
As I said last week, I’m happy with the quietude I find at this time of year.

But, taking that into account, it was still so lovely to have a social activity to kick off the festival of hibernation!

Now, it’s time to plan our Purim activities for next year!

Anyone in London will be welcome…
Put your requests in now!




2 thoughts on “Lesson 44

  1. I have been hanging out for the last hour, wondering whether with all the oil, the blog had slipped through the net! Thankfully not!

    Anyway – have a good one, slightly cooler than in Oz where the Chanukah candles have developed banana bends because of the heat.

    And aren’t Chanukah, Dewali and Christmas really GREAT mid-winter festivals? If we light all those candles, summer will return (sometime!?) to the Northern Hemisphere.

    Liked by 1 person

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