How to have a kick-ass Hanukkah
A great story of triumph, fried food, gifts and let’s be honest, no synagogue required, makes Hanukkah into one of the most fun Jewish holidays. Make yours even more kick-ass by following these simple steps:
1. HANUKKAH IS GREAT FOR PYROMANIACS. My grandfather used to do this, and it made me think he was basically superman. On the seventh or eighth night, when you have a decent amount of candles, run your index finger across the flames quickly – fast enough so you don’t burn your finger, but slowly enough so your finger turns a little bit black from the soot. This trick is best when done for little kids, but not done by little kids.
2. DREIDEL. Oy. Go ahead and give it a try. You can Google the rules. But I warn you, dreidel may be the dullest game ever, even with the gambling. It was started when the ancient Jews were hiding in caves learning Torah. They would play dreidel for a break. Some break – I’d almost rather study Torah. For the love of God, if you know a way to make dreidel an exciting game, let the world know.
3. MORE GAMBLING. Forget dreidel… You can place bets on which candle will burn out first, last, and so forth. If you’re like me, you’ll have every intention of watching the candles long enough to actually see which one goes out first or last, but then you’ll get distracted and, well… that’s the end of the game.
4. THE SKITS! Don’t waste another second! Check out our two sassy, fun, tales of how we came to celebrate Hanukkah.
5. THE GELT! Gelt is the Yiddish word for money. On Hanukkah, in addition to buying too many presents for your family, which they may return anyway, we’re supposed to give money to charity. So, back in the day, before Venmo, people used to give their children coins to give away. Somehow that got translated to those chocolate coins in those awesome fishnet sacks. Now we’re waiting for the next Hanukkah miracle, which will be a new way to get the foil cover off the chocolate without embedding the chocolate under our fingernails.
6. BLESSINGS AND READINGS. Blessings are a key to most Jewish holidays and Hanukkah is no exception. The blessings for Hanukkah are pretty easy. We’ve also added readings to help inspire us to live more meaningful lives, which is really what any Jewish holiday is all about.