We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Chanukah (Hannukah transliteration from the Hebrew for those who can't pronounce the guttural Ch) begins tonight. Many non-Jews also celebrate Chanukah for it common significance of overcoming religious oppression and rededication to sacred traditions and observance. It's also fun and a learning experience for children to see the lights glowing, to eat the tasty latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganyot (jelly donuts), and play dreidal (top) for gelt (chocolate coins or pennies).
And here's a brief video of how to light the candles.
As evangelical Christians of a certain Judeophilic bent, we kept Passover a few years, and kept Channukah one year as well when the boys were 14 and 10.
My history with this is odd, however. Consecutive rabbis had daughters in my grammar school grade and I was as close with them as boys dared to be with girls from 4th-6th grades. The second one was a Holocaust survivor who emphatically did not keep Channukah in the American fashion and the controversy could be felt even among us Gentile schoolchildren. Okay, we got over it pretty fast. Yet when I bring this up at highschool reunions among my Jewish friends from that time, they smile and nod and their eyes get wide. It was a Conservative congregation (there was a Reform congregation* in town as well), but several, including Rabbi Klein, kept Orthodox observance in most things. Two Jews, three opinions, as the saying goes. The controversy never quite ended.
*For those keeping score at home, the Reform congregation included Adam Sandler and Sarah Silverman. Alliances are still pretty weird here.
Assistant Village Idiot
A modern analogy for Hannukah.
Your cell phone is at 10% battery - and yet it continues to work for EIGHT DAYS!
Our across the street neighbors used to gently rib us about not putting up any Christmas decorations. So the next year, we bought a 5-foot high electric hanukiah and set it up in the front yard. They had to come over to admire it.