Thursday, 20 December 2012

After Hanukkah

I know that in many parts of the world folk are stopping work and winding down for Christmas. It's a very different story over here though! We celebrated Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, last week, with candle lighting, presents, yummy fried food and a little travel too. Now the boys have gone back to school and my Dad, who has been here for a visit, has returned to the UK. Does all of this explain my short absence since my last post?
Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and marks the victory of a group of Jews called the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks, the most powerful army of the ancient world. At the end of a three year war the Maccabees recaptured Jerusalem and lit the eight-branched candelabrum, the Menorah, in the rededicated Holy Temple. 
Nowadays Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting one candle on the Hanukkiah (an eight-branched candelabrum like the one in the temple) each day. Games of dreidel are played as a way of helping children to remember the great miracle of one small jar of oil found in the temple staying alight for eight days. The four letters on the dreidel form an acronym that means 'A great miracle happened here.'
We eat potato pancakes, latkes, and deep-fried doughnuts, sufganiot, once again to remind us of the miracle of the oil and the candles that burned for eight days.
In between all the candle lighting and doughnut eating, we escaped for a few days away up north. The weather was kind to us and we visited some beautiful places in the Golan Heights and the Galilee. We made a return trip to my most favourite place in Israel, the Agamon Lake in the Hula Valley, and I have plenty of gorgeous photos to show you in another post.
For now all that remains is for me to wish those of you celebrating, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have supported me and my blogging adventure throughout the year. I have enjoyed composing each and every one of my posts, and appreciate every comment and email that I receive.
Best wishes from Israel,
Lisa x


Miss Val's Creations said...

Hi Lisa,
I am happy to read you had a wonderful Hanukkah. Those fried doughnuts sounds like a deliciously evil snack! I love latkes (must be the Irish in me)! I have enjoyed visting your blog over the past year. It is always fun to read about what you are up to so many miles away. Your landscape photos are always my favorite since it is so different from where I am. Happy New Year. ~Val

Ann Martin said...

So glad you and the family had a lovely Hanukkah and some time away too. All the best in the new year!

Denise Kiggan said...

Thanks so much Lisa! All the best to you too. I have so enjoyed your blog this past year.
Visiting your country too was such an amazing experience.