Happy Hanukkah 🕎 BBYO

December 19, 2022
Rosie Silver

Manhattan, New York, United States

Class of 2023

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Happy Hanukkah BBYO!  Hanukkah is an 8 night celebration.  The candle lighting represents the number of days the temple lantern blazed. We celebrate Hanukkah because as Jews we try to commemorate the destruction of the temple. We also eat sufganiyot on this holiday, jelly donuts and custard donuts, because like our Latkes it’s supposed to symbolize the miracle of oil lasting for 8 days. People receive presents on Hanukkah because it’s a way of creating joy during this time of year and to bring family together. Now let’s get into the early Hanukkah event my chapter in the Manhattan Region held on December 1st. 

Why are there 9 candles on the menorah?

There are 9 candles because the extra candle, also known as the shamash, is used to light the other candles. That’s why we light it first so we can light the candles. 

Activity 1:  Before we started this activity we greeted our prospective members and family with our lovely faces at the door.  For the first activity we did family trivia. I brought my aunt Esther with me . So in this process we got to know each other better. 

Question we asked 

  1. Ask the adult: Birthday?
  2. Ask the child : What they studied in college?
  3. Ask the adult : Favorite musical artists?
  4. Ask the kids: What toothpaste do they use?
  5. Ask the adult : If they were to pick any superhero to describe themselves, who would they choose?
  6. Ask the kids: What's their middle name?
  7. Ask the parents: Their secret talent?
  8. Ask the kids: What's their favorite topping on pizza? 
  9. Ask the adult : Their favorite vegetable?

This activity really helps you to get to know your family members or parents because you could always learn something. Learning something new about someone can be shocking or not surprising. Maybe you knew about it subconsciously somewhere but didn’t feel like going back to that thought, but it’s always nice to learn something new about someone. 

Activity 2 : The second activity we did was play the classic game of dreidel (a four sided with a spinning top). We only play dreidel on Hanukkah. The four Hebrew letters on the dreidel are Nun, Gimmel, Hay, and Shin. 

We play dreidel on Hanukkah because it was created as a fun way to study Torah and it is also a way to learn Hebrew. Everyone tries to land on Gimmel. If you play with 10 people, it can last over 2 hours which is a long time to play the game of dreidel. 

Activity 3:  We had everyone get food such as Latkes and chocolate gelt while we ate. We talked to each other.

We eat latkes on Hanukkah because it is supposed to remind us of the miracle oil. Everyone likes different things on their Latkes . Personally I like them plain but if I were to put something on them, I would have them with applesauce. Some people prefer sour cream. I don’t really like sour cream, but I might need to try latkes and sour cream one day- just not now. 

Activity 4: For our 4th activity we lit the menorah and said the prayer for the first night as a symbolic way to acknowledge this holiday is coming soon. 

Activity 5 : For our 5th activity we played charades. Charades is a game where one person acts something out and their teammates or teammate tries to guess what they are acting out. 

Activity 6: For our last activity we had the winners play against each other to see who was the overall winner but truly, everyone in BBYO is a winner. And that was the end. 

Family traditions:

I have a lot of cousins. Some in Israel, and other countries where I lived. I noticed as we get older and go our separate ways family traditions tend to fade because nobody has time anymore but everyone tries to make it work but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

A family tradition we had was to have a Hanukkah party at my tatas and papas (grandma and grandpa) house. We always had delicious Latkes that were homemade. There was also great Israeli and Iraqi food. They used to hire entertainment like clowns and magicians. That’s where I learn how to make cool balloon animals like a dog and dinosaurs.

Traditional foods you eat on Hanukkah : 

  • Jelly donuts or custard donuts
  • Chocolate gelt 
  • Latkes with sour cream or applesauce
  • Chanukah cookies
  • Brisket 
  • Kugel 

Here are the prayers for Hanukkah just in case you can’t find them anywhere else.

Rosie Silver is a BBG from MHR, who is the sh'licha of her chapter!

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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