Tuesday, November 26, 2013

You Make A Point.....

A photo is making the rounds on the internet, that I have seen ascribed to a letter to the editor in the Lakewood Voice, that makes an interesting point.
The writer of the letter posits that the current children's Chanukah Song "I Have A Little Dreidel" is not only outdated, because we no  longer fashion dreidels out of clay, but also teaches our children nothing about the Chanukah story as it pertains to dreidels, when in fact, it could.
The writer offers up the following alternate wording to the same much beloved tune, which stresses the Chanukah story in a more meaningful way.

When we were learning Torah,
And Yevanim came our way,
We put away our sefarim,
And dreidel we would play.

Oh, Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel
Oh Dreidel we would play
Until we could learn Torah
After the Yevanim went away

(HT: GW)

Addendum: This post has generated HUGE uproar off blog. People are very passionate about their opinions on this topic. Please note that merely because I posted the lyrics does not mean that I am in favor of what the writer says. (and I'd prefer if you all ranted in the comments section as opposed to in person and via email ;)

Get Ready For Another Pirsum Project!

I hope to continue the Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Pirsum Project again this year.
Please send your menorah (or other wonderful Chanukah) photos to guesswhoscoming2dinner@gmail.com

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgivukkah Link Up - Cranberry Studded Pumpkin Challah

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you are aware of the once-in-an-eternity overlap this year of the first day of Chanukah with Thanksgiving. In my opinion, the best and most comprehensive coverage of this topic can be found here.

Say what you will about the National Holiday. Whether or not you choose to observe it, one must admit that this unusual occurrence is fascinating to calendar aficionados as well as us "regular folk". I am finding that at this time I miss my father z"l desperately. He loved tinkering with programs he had written himself (Anyone remember the TI-59 precursor to modern day computers? You 'fed' the program in on magnetized strips....) that dealt with all sorts of Gregorian and Hebrew calendar issues. He would have LOVED this! 

Say what you will about turkey dinners. Whether or not you feel it is appropriate to have Thanksgiving Dinner, there has been a long standing Jewish tradition of making special foods and taking special steps to honor Shabbos Chanukah. I fondly remember my grandmother's stuffed goose (can you even get that anymore?) and my own attempts at duck a l'orange (too much fat... too little meat to be worth the effort). I have blogged about my Shabbos Chanukah table with all it's special accouterments. I have even blogged about the amazingly large Shabbos candles used for the menorah in shul at KAJ. I have always advocated using the seasons bounty, regardless of the season, to honor the Shabbos, to honor a Yom Tov and to honor Hashem. This year I thought it might be fun to create a new and special fragrant Challah for Shabbos Chanukah - CRANBERRY STUDDED PUMPKIN CHALLAH, which is baking in my oven and filling my home with the most glorious aroma as I compose this post. 

Cranberry Studded Pumpkin Challah

  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water, divided
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1  whole egg
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp salt

  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree 
  • 8-9 cups all-purpose baking flour
  • Egg wash: 1 egg yolk mixed with 1/2 Tbsp water
  • Craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries)

Proof the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water and the sugar. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until smooth and then slowly add the flour until it is elastic and not sticky and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover and let rise one hour. Shape into two large challahs (I even put aside enough dough for two small rolls as well...) and let rise another half hour. Brush with egg wash and stud with craisins.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.

As with other Kosher Connection Link Ups, please feel free to browse the blogs shown below for their creative take on this calendar coincidence.