Maccabee beer, an Israeli beer, is named after Judah Maccabee, the hero of the Chanukah story. He and his followers victoriously defeated the Syrian tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes (165 B.C.E.) and rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem. At the time of emerging statehood, the early Zionists wanted to emphasize that Jews were strong, proud and capable of defending the Jewish people. They celebrated the military victory of Chanukah, in which the few triumphed over the many, and considered it the first victory of Jewish independence.

Dreidels in Israel bear different letters than dreidels everywhere else. Outside Israel, driedels have letters that stand for “Ness gadol haya sham”, “a great miracle happened there,” where the letter “shin” stands for the final word “sham.” In Israel, the letter, shin is replaced with a pey for the final word “po”, “a great miracle happened here.”
This year, try making your own menorah. You can use wood and nuts and bolts, shot glasses with colored water and floating wicks, or clay. The only religious requirement is that all of the light be at the same level, except the shamash, the service candle, that is used to light all of the other candles.




Printed on recycled paper.

From scientific discoveries to miracles, light can be understood both physically and symbolically. Light is responsible for electricity, E=mc2 and quantum physics but also for the miracle of Chanukah. The oil in the Temple miraculously lasted longer than imagined (eight days instead of one) and provided light, and therefore hope, to the Jewish people. It is no coincidence that Chanukah falls at the darkest time of the year. Each night of Chanukah we light an additional candle, so that the light increases and illuminates the darkness that the winter solstice brings.

Prompted by the festival of lights, change your light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs, which are energy efficient and cost effective. For more information visit www.coejl.org.


Light the menorah
Each night of Chanukah, Jews around the world light a menorah. Here s how: 1) Each night place an additional candle into your menorah. Place the candles from right to left. 2) Light the shamash candle (the service candle) and use that candle to light all the others. 3) Light the candles from left to right. Say the first blessing before lighting and the second blessing while lighting. Say the Shehechiyanu only on the first night.
First Blessing

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, asher kidshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu lehadlik ner shel Hanukah. Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with God’s commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of Chanukah.

Second Blessing
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, sheasah nisim laavoteinu bayamim hahem bazman hazeh. Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors at this season in days past.


Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, shehechiyanu vekiy’manu vehigianu lazman hazeh. Blessed are you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who gave us life and sustained us and helped us to reach this time.

There is a custom to eat foods cooked in oil, like potato latkes and sufganiot donuts, to remind us of the miracle of oil. Here’s how to make potato latkes: 4 large potatoes 1/4 tsp pepper 3 tbsp matzah meal 3 eggs, beaten Oil for frying 1 tsp salt

a potato latke

Grate the potatoes, squeeze out as much water as possible. Mix the grated potatoes, matzah meal, eggs, pepper, and onion powder. Heat oil in frying pan. Add potato mixture by tablespoons into pan. Fry on both sides until brown. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels. Makes 6 servings. Great with apple sauce or sour cream.