Eight Things About Chanukah

remains of Jewish town of Adulam, Second Temple period (yr. 100)

Eight unrelated things about our Chanukah so far:

  1. Two of my teens went to the Bible Contest for adults, while the rest of us listened on the radio. My husband didn’t like the fact that the answers assumed that King Solomon wrote all of Mishlei (Proverbs), when the verse in question (30:8) is part of a chapter headed by, “The words of Agur ben Yakeh.”  The speeches went on too long and they had to run through the contest questions so fast that neither I, who wanted to tweet some, nor Jameel, who live-blogged the progress of the contest, could get much down. Since the TV station had another program scheduled, the contest took a break while the broadcast moved to another channel. The Emmys it wasn’t.
  2. At our family Chanukah party, we played a game prepared by my sister-in-law. Each of two teams gets a sheet with nine items written down. Each item on the sheet has a parallel on the opposing team’s page: Both are members of an unstated category. For example,  if the first unstated category were Chanukah foods. Team A’s sheet would say #1: Jelly doughnut and Team B’s sheet would say #1: Potato pancake.  The teams take turns guessing the other team’s items until one has found them all. You don’t have to guess the categories themselves. Categories included Chanukah songs, the first words of the verses in Maoz Tzur, and the names of Matityahu’s sons. Sometimes you can figure out the category by the questions asked by your opponents, and you can eliminate their wrong guesses as possibilities.
  3. Mazal tov to Phyllis from Ima on the Bima, who celebrated Chanukah by having a baby boy.
  4. Mirj is celebrating by hosting the Kosher Cooking Carnival.
  5. Yesterday we visited The Adulam Forest and caves near Beit Shemesh. We saw Second Temple burial caves, a dry riverbed, ritual baths, cacti. Sound familiar? My son loved the winding, crawl-able underground tunnel between rooms. Make sure to take a good flashlight.
  6. The other day I was taking groceries out of our car when I noticed flies on the hood. And a bad smell. Bravely, I opened the hood and peered in until I saw some black and white fur. Un-bravely, I closed the hood and called my husband. By the time he got home it was too dark to see clearly, and in the morning he realized he could not get at most of it. At a garage they removed the cover from under the engine, letting the cat fall out. Then they cleaned the engine. Apparently it’s common for cats to climb into a warm engine. Lesson learned: Tap on your car’s hood before turning on the engine to warn any beasts.
  7. On Wednesday Mrs. S. and I met in a park in Modiin. We each brought our two youngest children who did not interact in the slightest, but Mrs. S. and I enjoyed each other’s company. My daughter noted that everyone in Modiin speaks English, while my son was impressed that some playgrounds still have sand.
  8. My conversation with Mrs. S. inspired me to write a “Frequently Asked Questions” page.

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  1. Great sum-up of the holiday, and thanks for including my KCC post.

    As for the meet-up, isn’t it nice when the moms have a playdate? And I am very jealous!

  2. LOL everyone in Modiin speaks English. Not so much. But the park you were at gets a lot of traffic from not only other neighborhoods but also from nearby yishuvim.

  3. Mazal tov to you and the teens on their participation in the Bible contest. #6 has just been added to the list of reasons I don’t drive in this country. Being a non-sabra, I really thought the story was going towards skunk.

  4. LOL about the lack of interaction, but at least we all had fun! 🙂

    And my kids also thought it was funny that practically everyone in the park was speaking English…

  5. My kids had the same observation when we stayed in Modi’in during the war a few years ago. Of course that was only topped by the question from my older son during time in Beit Shemesh (Givat Sharrett) which was ‘Does anyone here know how to speak hebrew?’ 🙂

    And come visit us some time – we’ve still got sane in at least some of our playgrounds (though not enough – i hate those rocks they use instead in some places).

  6. When we were in Modiin (playing in the park) two years ago, I remember a lot of Hebrew speakers. Maybe they’ve all sold their homes to Anglos…

  7. Re #5 Everyone should go and visit Park Adullam NOW before it all gets destroyed in the shale oil extraction that an American company is about to do!
    And visit http://www.saveadullam.org and help us fight to keep our parks and tunnels and caves for ourselves, the Israeli public. These archaeological treasures will not withstand the project planned for this large park area.

    Re #6 BTDT It was a long time ago, and it wasn’t my car, but the memory is never erased…