Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Angel Jake at the RBC (Rainbow Broadcasting Corporation)

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Festival of Lights

Tonight is the first of the eight nights of Chanukah. Because Chanukah happens in December, it's gotten mixed up wih Christmas, especially in the US. But it has its own very different meanings and symbols. It celebrates the rededication of the second temple at the time of the Maccabee rebellion. The temple had been despoiled by the Assyrians . When the Maccabees went to rededicate it, they found oil enough to last for just one day, but miraculously it lasted for eight. Thus we celebrate Chanukah by lighting candles -- or oil, as they did in the time of the Maccabees -- in a special menorah, lighting one candle on the first night, two on the second, and so on. The ninth candle holder is used to light the others each night.


So Chanukah is a happy holiday - all about faith, courage, perseverance, and dedication. And light!

And, of course, no Jewish holiday is complete without special foods. For Chanukah, it's anything fried in oil - latkes for some; doughnuts for others. (Check out Axel's blog from December 2007 to see him help his mom make latkes.)


Our Mom is getting ready to light the first candle as soon as Dogdad comes home. But in the meantime, she wanted to show you the different menorahs she's come by over the years
This one has the most memories. It's the most traditional, made of brass and a tin-like metal, with the lions of Judah and the ten commandments. It belonged to Mom's grandparents, who came from Russia. When she sees it, she remembers happy times - the lights ablaze, reflecting the joy in her grandparents' faces as the whole family said the blessings and shared laughter and songs.The next two are more modern versions, the first made from aluminum; the second from hammered pewter and a bit more stylized. We'll be traveling with the second one so we can light the candles while we're away next week.This one is very special because our sister gave it to Mom - it plays a Chanukah song when you wind it up. The base is wood and the branches are metal.And finally, this more elaborate menorah was a gift from Dogdad's brother and his wife to Mom last year. It's porcelain and engraved with the word shalom - peace.

To get the true picture, you have to see these on the eighth night of Chanukah, when all the candles are lit. As the lights flicker, it's easy to imagine all the menorahs lit around the globe for so many hundreds of years. And it's impossible not to rememember the times spent with those who are no longer here but whose faces still dance in the lights.

27 comments:

Sparky said...

Jake! Harry!

Happy Chanukah to you guys!! We have some very wonderful Jewish friends who celebrate this holiday too... We think it's fantastic! Faith, Courage, Perseverance, Dedication, Light... And Doughnuts for me, please!

All the menorah's are beautiful. I would love to see them when all of the candles are alight!

Hope you have a GRRRReat weekend,

Sparky

Petey said...

What a beautiful collection of menorahs! We have one in our lobby tonight and the Empire State Building is lit up in blue and white! Will Jake and Just Harry get to spin a dreidel?

Happy Hanukkah!

Your pal,

Petey

The OP Pack said...

Your menorahs are all beautiful and it is so nice to have treasures like these that come from loved ones. It is always so interesting to learn about the rituals of different religions and cultures. Thanks for sharing yours.

Woos, the OP Pack

dewdana said...

Happy Chanukah. The menorahs are beautiful each in their own way! I have always thought it was a lovely celebration but am not jewish so have never celebrated it. Why is this the first I am hearing of the fried food tradition though? I might have signed up long ago ;-) Have a lovely 8 nights and then a lovely christmas too. I am delighted you boys are going along for the holiday travels too!

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Tank woo furry much fur such a pawesome explanation AND fur sharing the khool menorahs!

Do woo two have dreidels to spin and chew?

Happy HOWLidays to our pals!

Hugz&Khysses,
Khyra

Molly,Taffy and Monty said...

A very interesting post for us to read. Thank you.

Have a safe journey to St. Louis.

Molly, Taffy and MOnty

Gus said...

Any Holiday that has donuts and latke is a great day in my book.

gussie

Noah the Airedale said...

Will you be posting on the 8th night of Chanukah. We'd love to see all the candles lit.
Thank you for this post. We didnt know much about Chanukah.
This is a very busy time of year for you guys up and over there. First you have Thanksgiving, then Chanukah and then Christmas. We'd be exhausted hehe.
Happy Chanukah buddies.

Noah Willow Tess & Lucy

Koobuss said...

Hi guys!!

That's all very interesting, especially the part about the food. I'll have some doughnuts, please.

Have a great holiday!


Love and Koobuss Kisses,
Koobie

Mango said...

How wonderful to have so many special menorahs to watch light up.

Slobbers,
Mango

Patience-please said...

The servant is all "oooh and ahhh" over the menorahs. We think they should have biscuits instead of candles and THEN we think you two would have a very happy festival of DElights!!!

wags from the whippets

Maggie and Mitch said...

What an interesting post! Your menorahs are all so very different and each one is just beautiful!
Happy Chanukah to all of you!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

Asta said...

Jake and Just Hawwy
I'm sowwy I'm late, but I want to wish you blessings and lights and wondewful memowies and lots of donuts and latkes on this vewy special holiday.
You made mommi get all teawy thinking of loved ones in the flickewing light of the candles of youwbootiful menowahs
smoochie kisses,ASTA

Lorenza said...

Thanks for sharing all that info about Chanukah. We did not know about it!
Kisses and hugs
Lorenza

MAX said...

Thank you for an extremely interesting and informative post! We love hearing about different cultures! Happy Chanukah to you too!
Sending peace and warm wishes from
YOUR FRIENDS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Mango said...

Oh eeesh! That was you guys? Momma helps me read blogs as soon as PeeWee wakes her up (at 5AM) and sometimes gets confused over where she is. Sigh.

You did look a little dorked, but totally cute.

Slobbers,
Mango

Martha and Bailey said...

Happy Chanukah! What a very special family time and thank you for explaining the meaning.
We can imagine how special it must be with all the candles lit and the memories down the years of happy times shared.
It must be a little sad too ....... a very special time. The menorahs are all beautiful - thank you for sharing - shalom.
love and kisses
Martha & Bailey xxx

L^2 said...

Hi Jake and Harry,
Thank you for the pawsome holiday card! We’re having lots of fun getting to know other DWB members.

Happy Chanukah!

Love and lots of licks,
Stella and Leader Dog Willow

Agatha and Archie said...

Chag Sameach boys!! We would have come sooner but we have been stuffing our faces with latkes and donuts(and now we are going to roll over!!!!) Those are beautifull menorahs!!!!!!!!!Love and kisses A+A

Life With Dogs said...

Happy Chanukah, have a great holiday!

Maggie and Mitch said...

We got your holiday card in the mail today, guys! We just LOVE the painting that Ami did of you guys! This card is so special!
Thank you so very much for thinking of us!
Have a wonderful holiday season!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Buster the Wired Fox Terror said...

Yappy Chanukah! Mom did the menorah at a friends house over the weekend. AND ate latkes of course.

Bussie Kissies
Buster

Sierra Rose said...

Hi ya! Nice to visit! We just received a little 'Warm Wirey Wishes...'. Thank you, it's lovely!
We are so happy to meet you and read your story. You two are so very CUTE and really special!

Come by for a visit if ya like:
www.goldensierrarose.blogspot.com

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose and mom

Eric said...

Hey Boyz. Great postie, I never knew half of that. It's wagging to get to know about your life and rituals. Your Mom's collection is with it's lovely memories is beautiful. Hope we get to see all the candle light. Safe travels to you all.

Wiry love and kisses Eric xx

Oorvi said...

Hi Jake and Harry,

Thanks for sharing the pictures of your beautiful menorahs. The Chanukah festival is in some aspects similar to the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Diwali is our festival of lights and it is preceded by another festival called Dushehera, which marks the end of Navratri or Nine nights. In short, the story goes like this - Ram (the pious king,) fought with Ravana of Lanka (the evil king)who had abducted Ram's wife, and defeated him on the day of Dushehera. So Dushehera is celebrated to mark the death of Ravana - and then Diwali, the festival of lights is celebrated to mark Ram's return to his kingdom:)

I think that your menorah collection is beautiful:) Thanks again:)

Licks and Wags,
Oorvi

Balboa said...

I love all the menorahs. Do your mom have any favorites? Do you light a different one each year.

Thank you for the Holiday Card. We weren't able to participate this year, so it meant a lot to us to get one from you.

I'll make sure mom gets her act together and help me send you our card.

Balboa

Sunny,Scooter,Shamus&Jamie said...

Since we did not sign up for the card exchange, we want to wish you the happiest of holidays. (and mom has been spelling Chanukah wrong-with an H. Sorry.) Those are very beautiful menorahs.
Happy,happy chanukah and a very happy new year(PLEASE remember to have at least one bite of black eyed peas. Mom is gonna be mainlining them! hah)
Hugs
Sunny,Scooter,Shamus&Jamie