Hanukkah begins next Sunday, December 2, 2018, at sundown and runs to Monday, December 10, 2017, at sundown. The name comes from a Hebrew verb that means “to dedicate.”  The book of John (John 10:22) tells us that Jesus was in Jerusalem during this Jewish winter festival which John calls the Feast of Dedication. I think it is interesting to consider. Why does John give us this detail?

Maccabee!: The Story of Hanukkah is an exciting, colorful book for kids that will teach them about the beginnings of this Jewish holiday. My review of the book along with a little more background about this historical event can be found by clicking the book title.

I also want to point you to Walk with Y’shua Through the Jewish Year by Janie-sue Wertheim and Kathy Shapiro. The book has several pages on Hanukkah and gives info on the traditions. For example, potato latkes, one of the holiday treats (and yum, they are a treat!), are traditionally fried in oil. This is to remind the person who eats them of the miracle that God performed with the oil and the dedication of the Temple.

There are a number of recipes online for potato latkes. I think you and the kids would have fun making and, of course, eating this delicious treat. A few years back I found a recipe for latkes in a magazine and tried it. The latkes were superb! That recipe called for a little lemon zest, a little orange zest and a bit of thyme. I used olive oil. Other recipes that I’ve seen use other kinds of oil. I think you can adapt a recipe to your own family’s tastes. But do try making them. Your mouth will be glad you did. And don’t forget the sour cream (or plain yogurt) and applesauce. OK, enough! I’m getting hungry.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue are her most recent works. These novels are mysteries for kids, ages 10 to 13.