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Jewish Holidays

Tonight My Daughter Will Celebrate Her First Passover

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in my car outside my daughter’s day care. No worries, there’s no crying here, no major trauma. I’m trying to check things off my list while waiting for the start of “El dia de Primavera,” a celebration of the first day of spring.

Holiday Giving

Today is Christmas, perhaps the ultimate holiday for giving, and I am reflecting on the act, ritualization, and commercialization of "giving."

In the past few weeks the media has been abuzz with commentary on the virtue or the silliness of Giving Tuesday. Social media and a consortium of charities pumped up the idea of naming the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday “Giving Tuesday,” declaring it the beginning of “The Giving Season.”

Lauren Interviews Lauren

Singer-songwriter-humorist Lauren Mayer reflects on Hanukkah, Christmas, family, growing up a Jew in Orange County and how all this informs her own, artistic process. May you enjoy this in depth interview conducted by… herself.

What inspired you to write “Latkes, Shmatkes”?

Two years ago NPR did a program on Christmas music, and their expert was talking about how secular songs, like “Frosty The Snowman,” became classics, and then he said, “Some songs should never become classics, like this one”— and used an old recording of mine as an example. It was a novelty song I’d written and recorded years ago, “The Fruitcake That Ate New Jersey,” and when I wrote in to ask how they found it, they ended up interviewing me. I joked that now I was part of the great tradition of Jewish songwriters who create Christmas music, and I really should do a Chanukah album. Once I said it, I realized it could be a fun idea.

Gifts

presents.jpg

Photo by Sunfrog1 via Flickr

Rights
Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)
Contributor: Submitter
Orcha, Gabrielle

Photo by Sunfrog1 via Flickr

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Olive Oil Cake

olive_oil_cake.jpg
Olive oil cake for Hanukkah.
Courtesy of Katherine Romanow
Rights
Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)
Contributor: Submitter
Orcha, Gabrielle
Olive oil cake for Hanukkah.
Courtesy of Katherine Romanow

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Keep the Spirit of Hanukkah Burning with Olive Oil Cake

Although Hanukkah is known as the festival of lights, I think a more fitting name would be the festival of fried foods. It’s the time of year during which people expect and want to find deep fried food on their plates and I’m more than happy to oblige. Although, as much as I love eating latkes and sufganiyot, there are moments where I need a break from all the fried foods. Yet in the spirit of the holiday I still want to eat a dish in which oil is a central component.

"Judith," by Giorgione, circa 1504

judith.jpg
"Judith," by Italian painter Giorgione, circa 1504. Oil on canvas.
Courtesy of Hermitage, St. Petersburg/Bridgeman Art Library, New York.
Rights
Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)
Contributor: Submitter
Orcha, Gabrielle
"Judith," by Italian painter Giorgione, circa 1504. Oil on canvas.
Courtesy of Hermitage, St. Petersburg/Bridgeman Art Library, New York.

"Judith" by Giorgione, circa 1504

judith.jpg
"Judith," by Italian painter Giorgione, circa 1504. Oil on canvas.
Courtesy of Hermitage, St. Petersburg/Bridgeman Art Library, New York.
Rights
Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)
Contributor: Submitter
Orcha, Gabrielle
"Judith," by Italian painter Giorgione, circa 1504. Oil on canvas.
Courtesy of Hermitage, St. Petersburg/Bridgeman Art Library, New York.

Related content:

Accessing our Jewess Tools: Judaism’s Ancient Feminist Spiritual Tactics

How does the American Jewish woman navigate our male-dominated society in the twenty-first century? Jewish women have thousands of years of history to draw from to help make sense of and find our place. According to our ancestral Jewish tradition, women’s empowerment is central to bringing redemption for all humanity -- so let’s get to it!

Rosa Parks and Hanukkah: Why Ignorance Isn't Always Bliss

On the Thursday night before Hanukkah began, I attended an event called A Sip of Eser, an introductory session to the ten-part young adult learning program Eser (meaning 10) run by Hebrew College in nearby Newton, MA. Amidst the tumult of a Boston bar, and alongside several dozen people I had never met, I heard rabbinical student, Seth Wax, tell a Hanukkah story none of us had ever heard.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Holidays." (Viewed on February 7, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/jewish-holidays>.

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