How Do Jews Living in Israel Celebrate Hanukkah?
I have family that are moving to U.S. on December 20th, 2011. They have 2 young children. My grandmother invites the whole family for a Hanukkah dinner on the Friday night (whatever day of Hanukkah that is, it doesn't matter). My grandmother wants to invite them for our annual Hanukkah dinner. I would just like to know if Jews in Israel celebrate Hanukkah differently than American Jews. We are Reform Jews (I'm not sure if that matters for your answers or not). My family lights the menorah, eats latkes, say prayers, and then exchange some gifts. Do Israeli Jews celebrate Hanukkah differently? Do they do any gift-giving or just do gelt-giving. I really appreciate your answers and you taking the time to answer my question? Thanks so much and Happy Early Holidays!
Please be respective. Thank you!
- MelkhaLv 78 years agoFavorite Answer
Hanukkah is celebrated in Israel just like every where else in the world where Jews live. The Hanukkiah is lit, prayers are recited and everybody eat doughnuts and livivot (potato pancakes), lots of them! Since Hanukkah is in the middle of the winter, hot drinks like mint tea are served with doughnuts.
The doughnuts here in Israel are round, filled with red jelly and brushed with icing sugar. It makes for a very fattening, calorie dense treat. About a month before Hanukkah bakeries and supermarkets tempt everybody with the delicious smell of freshly baked doughnuts.
In Israel Hanukkah is not a major holiday. Banks and businesses are open as usual, but the schools are closed for a ten day holiday. Hanukkah, just like Christmas, is celebrated by attending a lot of parties.
One of the customs during Hanukkah is to play the "sevvivon" or four-sided spinning top. Only old people who speak Yiddish will call it a dreidl in Israel. On each of the sides you can find a Hebrew letter. The N, G, H, and P stands for "nes gadol hia poh" and means a great miracle happened here.
This miracle refers to the first Hanukkah miracle when the oil that was only enough to lit the menorah for one day carried on burning for eight days. The spinning tops in countries other than Israel have the letters: N,G, H, and S, not P. They stand for " nes gadol hia sham", a great miracle happened there.
- חנהLv 48 years ago
It might be different around the country, but as far as another person saying hot drinks, it depends on how cold it is. Last year I don't remember it being cold at all during Hanukah where I was. It also wasn't very wintry yet, it hadn't even rained.
There isn't as much gift giving, there is the typical food stuff though, and lighting, and other traditions. It really isn't a major holiday. We had one day off from school (university) and that was it. No one really travels home for it, I found. At least not the bulk of it. Maybe for the weekend, but everyone goes home on weekends always so that isn't really new.
- Anonymous8 years ago
It's not as big a deal as it is in the US, but it's been growing in the last few years.
Remember, Hanukkah is NOT the "Jewish Christmas", and that the traditions in the US are pretty much influenced by how Christmas is celebrated.
It might be a good idea for you to ask THEM what they expect and would feel comfortable with.
*edit* Don't you mean "be respectful"???? Because "be respective" doesn't mean anything.
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- Anonymous8 years ago
The eat bacon