Sunday, December 21, 2008


Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah..........

At this time of the year, kids of all ages are busy making beautiful menorahs in school. Whether your family uses candles or oil to light the Chanukah menorah, every child loves to gather around the table and have their turn. At our gatherings, each child lights their own candles and recites the brachot, their sweet young voices brings a smile to my face and happiness in my heart. After candle lighting the family sings Maoz Tzur together.

Here is another popular children’s Chanukah song which can be sung in English, Hebrew or Yiddish.

Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah
come light the Menorah
let's have a party
we'll all dance the Hora.

Spin the whirling dreidels
all week long
eating the sizzling latkes
sing a happy song.

Now light them tonight
the candles all in a row
we tell the wondrous story of G-d in all His glory
the wonders of long ago.

For our family, Chanukah is an especially happy time. Our first born grandchild, Yoni, was born on Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the sixth night of Chanukah and is a tenth generation Israeli.

We were still living in the old country, Canada. Our daughter and son-in-law live on a kibbutz in Gush Etzion. It was a Monday evening. I had lied down to rest before heading out to my shiur. The phone rang, my husband answered and all I could hear was "mazel-tov, mazal-tov!" How is everyone?

One minute later, my husband came to me and said, “mazal-tov Safta, we have a grandson!”

I can’t describe the feeling that came over me. It was incredible. I was bursting with happiness and profound gratefulness to be granted this Bracha. I couldn’t wait to come to Israel and meet my little grandson. Three weeks later, I was holding my little grandson.

Yoni’s Pidyon HaBen and the start of the first Gulf War were thirty days later. Since there was a travel ban, my son-in-law's parents, who lived in B’nei Brak and his family in Jerusalem couldn’t come. Some of the food that had been ordered from Jerusalem also couldn’t be delivered.

My son-in-law didn’t know what to do. His Rav said that the Pidyon HaBen mustn’t be cancelled. All their friends and neighbors pitched in to help make the simcha. They raided the kibbutz fridge, baked some cakes and set up a beautiful table. One of the kibbutz’s kohens had the honour. Yoni was redeemed and the simcha was just wonderful. For a few minutes, everyone sang and danced outside on the lawn, forgetting about the siren and scuds that had landed during the night.

On the occasion of Yoni’s Bar-mitzvah I wrote this poem to him.

It was the seventh night of Chanukah,
Rosh Chodesh Tevet.
A kick or two you gave your mother
on that cold wintery night.
Let me out! Let me out! Let me out!

After some time
A beautiful boy emerged.
The nurse handed you to your Mother
Your Father phoned Saba Avraham.

“It’s a boy! It’s a boy!”
All choked up your father managed to say
“Naomi will call you later,
I want to go see my son.”

Eight days later a brit you did have
Yonaton David was the name called out.
Yonaton, the brave Macabee
David, your great-grandfather.

Thirteen years have passed quickly.
Where has the time gone?
Today you have reached a milestone
Saba and I are so very proud.

Mazel tov Yoni, your Mother and Father too.
May the whole family celebrate
many more simchot with you.

Our precious grandson, will G-D willing graduate from his Yeshiva in June and at the end of the summer will start his army service in a Hesder Yeshiva.


In Israel, the most popular treat after candle lightning are donuts. Bakeries can’t bake them fast enough. Every type of donut and every topping you can imagine are produced.

My daughters make donuts with caramel filling. This is no time to watch the scale. One of my daughters is married to a Tunisian. She makes the most fabulous Tunisian donuts topped with a gooey sugar glaze. It’s a bit of a ‘patch’ to make...but the results are worth it.


1 kilo flour
3 level tablespoons dry yeast
¾ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup oil
3 eggs.
warm water

Mix dry ingredients, add oil, eggs
Slowly add warm water until dough is soft.
Knead dough to form ball
Oil hands & rub top and sides of dough & bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap to seal
Let dough set until double in size [app.1/2 hour]

Knead dough again & cut 20 /25 even sized balls.
Shape each ball to look like a ring with a large hole in the center.

Allow to rise again on a greased tray or plastic tablecloth. Do not use flour, as the donuts will be heavy.

Deep fry in hot oil until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

Sugar glaze

1½ cup sugar
¾ cup water
2 packages of vanilla sugar or a good squirt of liquid vanilla
2 squirts of a lemon
Mix together and boil on medium to low flame for 7 minutes.

Cover donuts with glaze


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