Happy Chanukah 2010
Chanukah, the “Jewish Festival of Light” has come and gone. It’s one of the few Jewish holidays Asya and I make an effort to celebrate and given its closeness to Christmas the only holiday that I can really appreciate. And who wouldn’t want to celebrate a holiday that involves lighting lots of candles and eating over-the-top doughnuts.
This is the third year we’ve celebrated it together and as much as I enjoy the small traditions we try to keep for Chanukah it still underwhelms in comparison to what I am used to for Christmas. Surprising really, because back London (or at least in Golders Green) you really did get a sense that Chanukah was a big deal – standing in Trafalgar Square watching London mayor Boris Johnson fumbling with a flame thrower on top of a cherry picker trying to light the world’s largest Menorah being a particular highlight. You would have thought of all places to make a big deal of it, it would be here in Jerusalem. Alas. Although there seems to be menorahs (the nine-branched candlestick) dotted throughout the city, on top of public buildings or glistening from inside people’s home it still all feels a bit tame. But perhaps that’s just the view of someone who has grown up in a society addicted to its annual binge on bright (and commercialised) Christmas paraphernalia.
Like Christmas, Chanukah comes with its own set of songs. “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel” is the one that kept on sticking in my head this year, no thanks to this version from South Park: http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/257090/dreidel-dreidel-dreidel