The Eight Bites of Hanukkah

by The Crowded Camel

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As part of his recent efforts to expand his knowledge of different cultures, the Camel recently consumed a large quantity of jelly doughnuts and potato latkes to better experience the Jewish tradition of Hanukkah. As a result, he is seen above suffering from intense stomach pains, attempting to alleviate his suffering with antacids and rest. The Camel’s binging episode has left him in great discomfort and unable to sleep, and may cause him to question the wisdom of his decision to explore Hanukkah and Jewish culinary tradition.

Before becoming dissuaded from further exploration into Jewish culture, the Camel might be wise to reference John Cooper’s book Eat and Be Satisfied: A Social History of Jewish Food. Cooper notes that, historically, Jews have consumed fried foods on Hanukkah to symbolize the miracle of oil that burned for eight days while the Jews defended themselves against Greek soldiers in the 2nd century B.C.Thus, the doughnuts serve as a reminder of the historical struggles of Jews, and their ultimate perseverance through adversity.

If the Camel had known the reasoning behind eating fried foods, he might have used the food as an opportunity for reflection rather than an opportunity to over-indulge in fatty delicacies. Indeed, it is valuable for us all to understand the meaning behind the traditions in which we take part, because understanding the history behind our actions gives greater depth to the process, resulting in a more fulfilling, enriching and rewarding experience.

Sources:

  1. Cooper, John. Eat and Be Satisfied: A Social History of Jewish Food. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1993. Print.
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