Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Maccabeats: Latke Recipe (for Hanukkah)

Latke Recipe by The Maccabeats,  a vocal group founded at Yeshiva University in New York City in 2007.

Tonight in the Jewish calendar is the 25th of Kislev, beginning the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, (חנוכה; Hebrew “to dedicate”), celebrating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple (during the Second Temple period) in Jerusalem after the successful Maccabean revolt [167–164 BCE] against the Selucid Empire led by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. It would take another 22 years, however, until 142 BCE for the Jews of Judea to diminish the influences of Hellenism. The holiday is also called “The Festival of Lights,” since Jews light candles on a Hanukkiah for eight days, thus bringing more light into the world. Latkes (potato pancakes) along with sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts) are the traditional foods eaten during this holiday, but I am sure that modernity has added others to the list; the only requirement is that they must be made with oil, symbolically representing the oil used for the re-dedication of the Temple. The story of Judah Maccabee and his brothers is told in the First and Second Books of Maccabees, which although not part of the Tanakh or Jewish Bible (but part of the Catholic Bible) is viewed nevertheless as an important historical document. For an informative discussion on the Maccabees, see here.

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