Oh Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah … in Israel!
Here is a blog post on the furthest place I’ve traveled. The plane ride is noisy and crowded, but I’ve traveled there four times and I’ll do it again as soon as time and money permits. With the earliest chanukkah ever recorded in just two weeks, I thought this would be an appropriate post for this challenge:
I’ve spent all of my chanukkahs in America. As a Jewish kid, yes, the omnipotence of Christmas can test anyone’s Jewish identity and make even those with the strongest feel a bit left out. You can totally relate to Adam Sandler‘s song. You are that only kid on the block without a Christmas tree.
But, still, come December, you can’t help but feel a bit marginalized.
Except in Israel. Because there’s a whole country that is Jewish, just like you and me……
Chanukkah in Israel is the little things, like peeking into a Jerusalem apartment window to watch a mother lift her baby to see the chanukkah candles.
Chanukkah is big, as every corner on every street is decorated with Chanukkiot. No, not menorahs. A menorah is the seven-branched candelabra, and though it is the symbol of Israel, the chanukkia, the nine-branched candelabra, is for chanukkah:
Chanukkah in Israel is walking through the Western Wall Tunnels where Judah Maccabee and his army used to reclaim Jerusalem and the Temple from the Assyrian Greeks in 165 B.C.E.
Chanukkah in Israel is lighting the chanukkiah in the hotel lobbies amidst the glow of so many others:
Chanukkah in Israel is digging in a cave thought to be used by the Maccabees, where coins have been found with an insignia of Assyrian King Antiochus on them.
Most of all, Chanukkah is filled with smiling kids: