Saturday, 8 December 2012
The Hannukiah was made by an artist in Jerusalem. He was trained at the Bezalel Art School. It represents each of the 7 fruits of Israel, including my favourite, the pomegranate. The prayer book was from the Austrian Jewish community. Strangely it is in English! I bought it several years before I met and married my Jewish husband. The blue tin with the flag of Israel on it is from the Jewish National fund. Every Jewish home used to have one and save money in it to give the JNF to buy land in Israel. The spinning top is known as a dreidel. The letters on it represent the saying " a great miracle happened there"
The miracle referred to is remembered at "The Feast of Dedication", when the sanctified oil at the temple lasted for 8 days, hence 8 candles. These are lit each evening during the feast of Channukah. And because the miracle being celebrated is linked with oil, the food eaten at this time of the year is fried - it includes doughnuts (Sufganiot) and latkes (fried potato pancakes). So, if you have a heart problem, this is a festival to take in moderation!
Happy Channukah from one the places furthest away from Jerusalem. May we all be Light in the world.