How to Make Chanukah Religious Again
In order to make Chanukah more religious, I’m using fat from shmaltz flanken meat that stays in the stomach for eight days.
Chanukah is of course our special holiday that marks the miraculous victory of the small band of Jewish idealists over the mighty Greek army. It should be such a spiritual holiday. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like that. Perhaps it’s the commercialization or perhaps it’s the donuts. I am not sure. So as a service to the Jewish world, I would like to suggest some ways to make Chanukah more “religious.”
You thought a three day Yom Tov was hard, how about 8?!
Give the Children Big Kippahs
Who cares if they want the Xbox. Let them know that Chanukah is about Jewish identity, even if that means that they will never want to celebrate Chanukah again. You already gave them the knitted sweater that doesn’t fit, might as well give them something Jewish.
24 Hour Chanukah Candles
Using 24 Hour Chanukah candles makes your Menorah look like a yahrzeit, commemorating the death of a loved one. Good Jews always remember family who are gone when they celebrate. Nobody should ever be too happy.
The frummest thing you can do on Chanukah is to call Christmas by another name. If you use Yiddish, even better. You can call it Nitelnacht, or any word with nacht at the end, and you are set. Be a proud Yiddish speaking Jew who doesn't even acknowledge Xmas. Just call it “The Day”.
Purchase Gifts That Mean Something
If you find something on sale and give it as a gift, that is Frum. Never give somebody retail. That is very un-Jewish.
Eat More Oily Food
Oily food is religious. It must be fat from shmaltz flanken meat. That is the kind of oil that stays in the stomach for eight days. Don’t use olive or canola oil, as that comes from vegetables and we don’t eat those.
Draw Maps for Anti-Semites
Unfortunately, so many of our holidays are tied to our survival over our enemies. And in today’s environment, it’s not enough that we light our candles in our windows so everyone knows where we live. Instead we should draw maps to our houses and hand them out to the Anti-Semites. Anti-Semites are people too – why make them work so hard?
Eat Sponge Cake, Kichel and Herring
Donuts aren’t religious enough. We need foods that are harder to pronounce like kichel. For Jews food is very powerful. For example, if you’re ever feeling disconnected from Yiddishkeit, throw some herring on kichel and you are suddenly connected! Eat something very oily and unhealthy and congratulations, you are now religious!
No Work on Chanukah
Work is forbidden on holy days. That is why I keep Shabbat all week. So in order to frum up Chanukah a bit, no work for 8 days straight! True you won’t be able to afford those presents you bought, or your mortgage payments, but if you aren’t struggling financially then you are not religious.
Get Rid of Sufganiyot
Eating is the only part of Chanukah that is religious. Even so, sufganiot, the jelly-less jelly Chanukah donuts that they love in Israel, are not Frum. Religious people do not eat donuts or any pastry, unless if it is in sponge cake form.
Make Chanukah Less Fun
Gifts, dreidel, parties. This is all wrong. Any good Jewish holiday requires that you be in shul for at least five hours.
Put tinfoil on anything and it is religious. You used it to cover your home on Pesach. You used it to store the food for Shabbat, with the tin. Now use it no your child’s Menorah. Candles crunched up tinfoil – suddenly more religious!
Sing Hebrew Songs
If you sing songs in a language you don’t understand, that will make the holiday more religious.
Remember, the harder it is to decipher your language, the better off you are as a Jew. Add ‘nacht’ everything. As a good Jew, you can even enjoy Thanksgiving next year, if you call it Thanksgivinacht.
I hope that you found some of my tips useful. Gift idea: give your loved ones my new Chanukah album titled, “I’m Dreaming of a Frum Chanukah.”