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How To Make Your Next Chanukah Better

December 13, 2015 | by David Kilimnick

Eat oily food and enjoy the extra pounds. Heaviness shows religious commitment.

Chanukah may be over but we’re still in the holiday spirit. So I thought I would post some advice as to how to make your Chanukah more meaningful. Consider it my Chanukah gift to you. You’re welcome.

Get a Dreidel Circle Going

Holidays are all about the children and education. So why not teach them how to gamble. Tradition has it that our children were gambling back in the days, to ward off the Greeks from thinking we were learning Torah. Connecting with tradition, I have witnessed many Jewish day school children to this day, who also skip class and play cards in the bathroom.

Gambling according to many rabbinic authorities is forbidden, unless you are playing dreidel…or in Vegas for the diamonds convention. You want to make sure that the children connect with this part of Chanukah. I was taught with chocolate, Hershey's Kisses to be exact. But gambling with money is really best for the child’s spiritual development.

Sing Nice Religious Chanukah Songs

Maoz Tzur is great. But I am a big fan of the English songs. But if we’re going to be real here, songs like 'Oh Chanukah Oh Chanukah…Light the Menorah,' are misinforming generations of Jews. The line, 'We light one for each night,' is very misleading. You light six on the sixth night. Seven, including the shamis. You light one for each night if it is a Yahrzheit candle(the commemoration of somebody's death), and Yahrzheit candles should only be used as shot glasses, according to tradition. So really, the song should go, ‘We light one on the first night, plus the shamis we lit…4 on the fourth night, plus the shamis we lit…8 on the eighth night plus the shamis…you get the idea.

Give Gelt. People Like Money.

Our tradition knew that people don’t like thought, years ago. Bring your family and friends into the day and let them know that the thought does not count at all. Give gelt.

And I’m not talking chocolate coins, but now that we’re on the topic, those chocolates are a rip off. They are too small for any real Jew to enjoy. If you are still hungry, then you have not fulfilled any religious holiday duty. Binge eating is part of the tradition, and no child has enough gelt or people that love them, to binge on chocolate coins.

The fact that gelt is Yiddish does give the tradition of giving money greater religious significance. However, the size of a Hershey’s Giant Chocolate Bar makes it more religious than chocolate gelt. For this reason, give the children the gift that keeps them wanting to be Jewish. Money.

Light a Decent Sized Chanukiah

Do not try to compete with Chabad. Chabad has the biggest Chanukiot in the world. One year, I made one that was ten feet tall. The next year, Chabad had one 10 stories tall. The rabbi was hanging from scaffolding. Face it, you can’t compete with that.

Eat Oil

As we know, there was oil left in the Temple, enough for one day’s lighting, which lasted for eight days. Oil is used in food. Be a good Jew and eat it oily food.

Olive oil is too expensive. Many use canola oil. I suggest using fat from flanken (short ribs). That is the kind of oil that stays in the stomach for 8 days.

If you have the ability to drink oil, that is the best way to take it down. That is traditional commitment. Being that most people need a carbohydrate in there, be a good Jew and use oil on as much as you can. You can put oil on most anything. Traditionally, we are into latkes and sufganiyot but you should be eating oil with everything. Do not be afraid to add it to your cornflakes.

Eat and Feel More Religious

Enjoy the extra pounds. Heaviness shows religious commitment.

There is a tradition that you can’t put on weight on holidays. But do not worry. To my surprise, Sukkot last year, I put on 15 pounds. Chanukah, I put on 18. After years of first hand research, I have discovered that this tradition only works when you do not eat.

Chanukah Sameach!


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