Chanukah Is A Family Affair
Each month in this space, L'Chayim will present a Yiddish lesson
entitled "Du Redst Yiddish (Do You Speak Yiddish?)" whose aim is to
encourage further study of Yiddish. The lesson will include a brief
story utilizing the Yiddish words to be studied, a vocabulary list with
English translations and a family activity which involves using the new
words. Two books which may be helpful for beginning Yiddish
students are Yiddish for Beginners by Dr. Joffen and Der Yiddisher
Lerer by Goldin. Weinreich's English-Yiddish Dictionary also may be
useful. At the conclusion of each lesson will be a suggested list of
books for persons who wish to further their knowledge.
The lessons were prepared by Mary Koretz of Oak Park. She has
taught both children's and adult classes in Yiddish at the Workmen's
Following is this month's lesson:
"How do we know when it's Chanukah?" mother asked. "When I
shmeck the latkes frying in boymel until they are fartik," answered
Jacob. "And when I see the smetenah and epeltzimes that you eat
with the latkes," added Laura. "Don't forget the menorah, with its
shammus licht and the eight lights that bahteitin the nes of the
eight days that the oil burned," said father. "I know it's Chanukah
when I see the dreidel spinning, falling on shin, shtel; gimil, gants;
hay, halb; and nun, nem," said mother. "But most of all," said father,
"we know it's Chanukah because of the fraid and libeh we feel all
letter of the
letter of the
letter of the
letter of the
Have the children mix the latke
batter, while the parents fry the
latkes. Take turns lighting the
Read the children's stories and
sing the Chanukah songs in the
following: Yomtevdike Teg, Mlotek
and Gottlieb, 40 holiday songs with
music and translieration; The Power
of Light, Isaac Bashevis Singer;
Chanukah Games, Stories and
Chanukah Customs Differ
Between Ashkenazim, Sephardim
By SHIRLEY CHICOREL BEHAR
TOYS AND GAMES
Aleph-Bet school blocks, wood, ages 1 1/2-5; plastic
aleph-bet blocks in a wagon holder, ages 1 1/2 and up;
Torah Teddy stuffed bear; giant Chanukah coloring book;
pop-up Chanukah books; see, smell and touch Chanukah
books; soft menorah, soft dreidel and soft Torah. All
available at Borenstein's.
Outer space dreidel, ages 5 and up. Available at
Language/30, Hebrew and Yiddish, with book and
cassette. Available at Borenstein's.
Theodore Bikel, Classic Jewish Holiday Songs, adults;
Torah Avenue Vol. 8, all ages. Both available at Spitzer's.
Favorite Bible Stories, VHS format, pre-school and up.
Available at Borenstein's.
Sesame Street (five episodes) from Israel, VHS
format; Hannah Barbera Stories from the Bible, all ages;
Lights — A Chanukah Story. All available at Spitzer's.
Spitzer's is located at 21770 W. 11 Mile, Southfield.
Borenstein's is located at 25242 Greenfield, Oak Park.
The Sephardic Jews,
descendants of Jews expelled from
Spain in 1492, celebrate the
Chanukah holiday differently from
their Ashkenazic — Jews from
Central and Eastern Europe—
brethren. It may be in the
candlelighting observance or in the
traditional foods or in customs
derived from their native lands.
Sephardic Jew's who left Spain
in the late 15th Century settled in
the Balkan countries, the
Netherlands, North Africa and the
countries within the Ottoman
Empire, including Turkey and
Greece. (Oriental Jews lived in
some Moslem countries for almost
2,000 years such as the Persian
Jews and Yemenite Jews.) Ladino,
the Judeo-Spanish language spoken
by Sephardim, was retained in the
communities where the exiles lived.
It is still spoken today in Turkey,
Israel, and in some American
Spanish and Portuguese Jews
prefer oil over candles in their
Chanukah menorot. However, a
candle is used to burn the oil in the
shamash and the other Chanukah
To "proclaim the miracle," the
Chanukah lights are placed in or
near a window. This practice is
continued in America and Holland.
The Hanerot Halalu is recited,
followed by Psalm 30, "Mizmor shir
Hanukat habayit leDavid."
The Maoz tzur prayer is not
known to Sephardim as a part of
the Chanukah ceremony for kindling
the lights, but its melody is chanted
in the synagogue service to Ein
K'Eloheinu. This tradition is
observed in America, but not in
The Chanukah lamp used in
the synagogue is made of beaten
brass which began in Holland a few
hundred years ago.
Spanish Jews from Turkey and
Greece do not give gifts. This is a
time when families celebrate the joy
of the festival by eating special
foods and lighting the candles in
the home. Askenazim eat traditional
latkes, a fried potato pancake.
Sephardic Jews eat bimuelos. They
are puffy fritters dipped in powdered
sugar or honey. Another name for
this food is loukomades. It is served
warm. This food constitutes a light
meal or a dessert.
There are a group of Syrian
Jews who originate from Spain who
have unique custom in connection
with lighting the Chanukah candles.
Since their ancestors journeyed
from Spain to Syria they were not
Continued on Page L-11
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS