Thursday, December 22, 2011

Manny's first Hanukkah

It's amazing how fast our little boy is growing up. When we got him he was barely 3 pounds and now he's tipping the scale at a whopping 7.5! He's also gone through his teething stage which, needless to say, has seemed like the bane of our existence. Our evenings have been filled with babying the boy and letting him wear himself out so that he'll finally fall asleep. We've also taken turns sleeping on the couch with him because his gums are bothering him so badly. But, on a positive note, we've had our first Hanukkah together! Here are some pics we wanted to share...
Building a fort in his new bed
Celebrating Hanukkah with Daddy

And  a makeup less Mommy

Manny and his new bed from Grandma and Grandpa Krugel

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Hanukkah, Chanukah, Hannukah, from me to you! Plus some FAQ...

In case you didn't know, the holiday season is upon us! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Yule, Boxing Day, or any other festival, I wish you and yours all the best and more. On a side note, I've decided to dedicate this post to all that is Hannukah (or however you spell it). First, since I've become the Jewish go to in my office, I've decided to share some insight regarding this holiday and all it's acoutrama.

Chanukah celebrates two miracles:
a) The 2nd century BCE victory of a small, greatly outnumbered and out-armed army of Jews, known as the “Maccabees,” over the mighty Greek army that occupied the Holy Land. The rebellion was in response to the Greek attempt to force a Hellenistic G‑dless lifestyle on the Jewish inhabitants of Israel.
b) The kindling of a seven-branched Menorah (candelabra) was an important component of the daily service in the Holy Temple. When the Maccabees liberated the Temple from the hands of the Greek invaders, they found only a small cruse of pure and undefiled olive oil fit for fueling the Menorah. The problem was, it was sufficient to light the Menorah only for one day, and it would take eight days to produce new pure oil. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days and nights.

In the Hebrew, Chanukah is pronounced with the letter chet. The chet’s “ch” sound is not enunciated like the “ch” in child; rather it’s a guttural, throaty sound—like the “ch” in Johann Bach—which does not have an English equivalent. The letter “H” is the closest, but it’s not really it. So while some people spell and pronounce it “Chanukah” and others settle for “Hanukkah,” they really are one and the same.

Chanukah means “dedication” or “induction.” Following their victory over the Greeks, the Maccabees rededicated the Holy Temple and its altar, which had been desecrated and defiled by the pagan invaders.
The word Chanukah can also be divided into two: Chanu—they rested, and Kah—which has the numerical value of 25. On the twenty-fifth day of the Hebrew month of Kislev the Maccabees rested from their battle, and triumphantly marched into the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, ready to rededicate it.

Chanukah begins on the twenty-fifth day of the Jewish month of Kislev. The Jewish calendar is primarily based on the lunar cycle, and its dates fluctuate with respect to other calendar systems. Thus the first day of Chanukah can fall anywhere between November 28th and December 26th.

Is Chanukah a major holiday for you all like Christmas is for us?
While this has remained a question debated throughout time, personally, it is not in my mind a so called "major holiday." When I think important holidays in Judaism, I think of Rosh Ha'Shanah, Yom Kippur, Yom Ha'Shoa, and Passover.

Do you get presents every night?
In our family we don't, however it some families they do. Since my family is rather spread out, it's rare that we get to spend hanukah together. For example, the holiday starts tomorrow at sundown, but we won't see our family until Thursday or Friday. We usually exchange at least one gift if possible or give smaller gifts, like I did for Brad this year.

And for your listening pleasure here are some of my favorite videos of the season...

Happy Holidays and a safe, happy, and healthy New Year!!

About Mariam

Life is sweet

Life is sweet

And they lived happily ever after

And they lived happily ever after

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

One day a beautiful Jewish girl met a nice Jewish boy and made their mothers very, very, very happy

About Me

For those of you who know me, writing has always been one of my passions, with the exception of my Masters or any ridiculously long testament within the wide world of Academia. I've only had the pleasure of blogging a couple of times, mostly for a few classes in graduate school, but figured it was time to organize my numerous thoughts and musings with all of you out there in cyber land. I created this page because my mind is always running and often times my thoughts get lost in the hubub. Plus, my friends have always said that I'm a great storyteller, so I'd love to share them now with you. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this... Throughout the past 33 years of my life I've seen, heard, and experienced so many different things as well as had many adventures and dream of so many possibilities. But in short, what it comes down to is this..I'm just a little Jubana trying to make a difference in the world. Everyday I live my life to the fullest and have fun doing it. Life can't always be about work or how much money you make. There's so much more to life than that.