Danny Does: Hanukkah

Danny Rothenberg, Managing Editor

“Alright, everyone let’s light the candles,” my mom said.

We gathered around the candles, one for each night, along with one extra candle used for lighting the other ones. I love to light the hannukiah so I quickly snag the lighter and light the shamash (the main candle). One by one I light the three candles since it is the third night. Then we break out the Hebrew and say the prayer for Hanukkah.

“בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָה,” I said along with the rest of my family.

Read that backwards because in Hebrew we read from right to left. This is how it reads. Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hadlik ner shel Hanukkah. What that means is Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light.

I wonder if I’ll get a present this year. Maybe a pair of socks or a sweatshirt.

“Okay I have a gift for you guys,” my mom says to me and my brother.


My mom hands us each a box wrapped with a bow I begin to open it up.

“Thank you so much,” I said to my mom.

I’ve got to thank my mom even before I open it.

“Of course. Now open it up, I want to see if you like it,” my mom responded.

What is it? I can’t tell. It’s wrapped in tissue paper. It’s clothes. Ooh a nice new sweatshirt. I like it a lot.

I thank my mom again because it was very kind of her and then try it on. Next we have to eat some latkes. Latkes are “potato pancakes.” Shredded potatoes shaped into a pancake form and fried. So good. In the Jewish religion, there are about 90 ways you can say latke. I pronounce it “lot-cah” Some of the other ways just sound funny.

“Do you like your latke?” my aunt asks?

Did she just say “lat-Key?” Is it bad to laugh? No, I can’t laugh it’s how she says it. That’d be mean.

“Yeah, they are good. Crafted by a genius,” I respond.

My aunt laughs, and then we all jump into a Hanukkah jingle. “Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah. Let’s have a party we’ll all dance the Hora.”