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Friday, December 02, 2005

Photo Friday (Vol. XLVII) ['anticipation' edition]

People have been complaining for as long as I can remember about how Xmas decorations (at least in the US) start appearing earlier and earlier each year.

When I was a kid the wreaths, light and tinsel would show up at the beginning of December.  As time went by, Thanksgiving fell as the date before which it wold be unthinkable to display holiday decorations.  These days the Halloween decorations are barely swept away before Santas and reindeer make their appearance in store windows.

It's nice to know that Israel has a bit more patience in such matters.

True, in recent years bakeries seem to have been introducing sufganiot (jelly donuts that are a traditional staple for Hannukah) earlier and earlier... but hey, who doesn't like sufganiot?

No, Israel is fairly level headed when it comes to anticipating holidays.  Here it is the beginning of both December and Kislev (the Hebrew month in which Hannukah starts) and the stores are just starting to put out tiny teasing hints in anticipation of the holiday:

The first hint, as I mentioned, is the omnipresence of sufganiot:
Sufganiot

The second hint is that the potato bin in the produce section starts to get bigger (it will double in size by the end of the month in anticipation of the potato latke (pancake) demand.
Potatoes

Of course, along with the potatoes, the oil section swells with new and exotic selections (especially of olive oil).
Oil

And of course the inevitable first sighting of candles and hannukiot (menorahs).
Candles

I like it when holidays are allowed to sneak up gradually on me. 

Anticipation is fun.

Shabbat shalom.

Posted by David Bogner on December 2, 2005 | Permalink

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Now that is somethat I could get used to.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 2, 2005 9:43:07 AM

Eat sufganiyot before Chanuka? Sacreligious! (Or sacrelicious, as Homer said..)

For me there's no:

Matza before Pesach
Hamentashen before Purim
Sufganiyot before Chanuka
Fasting before Yom Kippur :)

Posted by: Dave | Dec 2, 2005 11:02:00 AM

Ditto to what Jack said. I am already so sick of all the holiday decorations and music and I stay as far away from the mall as possible for the month of December. I know a lot of people like it when Christmas and Chanukah coincide because they feel less left out, but I like having my own holiday! Gotta get my Chanukah decorations up over the weekend!
Shabbat Shalom & Chodesh Tov.

Posted by: Essie | Dec 2, 2005 3:28:28 PM

Mmmmm..... candles... Wait. That's not right.

Shabbat shalom!

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Dec 2, 2005 3:52:00 PM

Suvganiot...I think we had this discussion here last year, same time (Hebrew calendar), but let me repeat: delicious. And - we have them here all year through (except from various majorly catholic regions in the south, who, since they say it's a carnival food, deliver them only Nov. through to Feb.). What is everyone's favourite filling?

It strikes me that people talk of Chanukiah and Menorah in deliberate ways. I was taught that there is a) a Menorah (which has seven arms) and b) a Chanukiah (which has nine arms), but one isn't the other, especially when it comes to lighting the candles that are on it.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I recall that it is not advised to light a Menorah at home? Whereas and of course, we light the Chanukiah at home for Chanukah, one light after another.

Anyone chip in on that? Thanks.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Dec 2, 2005 6:23:23 PM

In Britain it's worse. Halloween is really a kids thing and we don't have Thanksgiving so the Christmas stuff goes up way earlier. At one point in time it went up in October!!!
I actually like the whole "season", apart from the nativity scene stuff and inevitable arguements here about how the "left" and the ACLU are "killing Christmas". It's cold, it's dark and lots of people put up pretty lights and decorate the stores. Yay!!!

Posted by: Lisoosh | Dec 2, 2005 6:48:57 PM

Wow! Look at all those menorahs!(We always called them menorahs, not Chanukiahs. I never heard that word nor knew it existed until recently, in fact)

I simply have to get to Israel one of these days. Sooner, rather than later.

Posted by: Gail | Dec 2, 2005 9:05:09 PM

My understanding is that the word "menorah" simply means "lamp." A Chanukiah is a lamp specialized for Chanukah. Of course, the lamp - menorah - mentioned in the Torah is the lamp of the Beit HaMikdash - the Holy Temple (well, in the Torah it's still the mishkan, or tabernacle). And it seems the traditional chanukiot were modeled more or less after the original, just with a couple extra arms to squeeze in all eight days.

Here's what I find funny about the pictures: I don't remember Israeli stores going in for that "99" stuff at the end of posted prices. Is that a new phenonemon?

Posted by: Ralphie | Dec 2, 2005 9:14:51 PM

I, too, never have heard of the word "Chanukiahs" but thought the pictures were very nice of the group of whatever you want to call them!

I like that Channukah is 'late' this year and that Christmas 'kicks off' the present giving for my daughter (who celebrates both holidays)!

I tend to be a last minute shopper and the fact that Channukah goes into January, look at all the sales I can cash in on when present buying!!

Posted by: val | Dec 2, 2005 9:57:47 PM

Last year in our town there was a Chanukah candle shortage! Really! So this year I have been gradually purchasing candles over the months... I now have quite a stash of boxes.

Posted by: mirty | Dec 3, 2005 12:18:06 AM

I can't wait to fry up my first batch of latkes. Yum. I love all the high-carb Chanukah foods, esp. the little chocolate gelt packages.

Posted by: Stacey | Dec 3, 2005 12:53:28 AM

Who doesn't like sufganiot?

I can name a few: my hips, my thighs, my butt...

Shall I go on?

Posted by: Allison | Dec 4, 2005 12:11:19 AM

Jack... The one thing I love during this month is that every mall is filled with the smell of freshly fried and sugared sufganiot.

Dave... Everyone has different traditions, but I agree... it does seem a bit blasphemous to jump the gun on a holiday food.

Essie... My dirty little secret is that I love Xmas music. In fact Vince Guaraldi's soundtrack to 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' is in heavy rotation on my iPod right now. :-)

Doctor Bean... Been sampling Jack's Tang, have we?

mademoiselle a. ... You are correct about the proper word for the thing we light candles on, but in the US most people call it a menorah. That's the only reason I used both terms. as to the favorite flavor, I may set up a poll later in the month to get some feedback, but my favorite filling is Ribat Halav (caramel)... hands down!

Lisoosh... I made one admission to Essie so I may as well make another to you. I love Xmas wreaths. I miss the smell of pine boughs on nearly every door in New England. There is absolutely no religious significance to the wreaths and I was sorely tempted once or twice to get one... but I knew my Jewish friends just wouldn't understand. :-)

Gail... The guest suite is all made up for whenever you buy your plane tickets. No joke!

Ralphie... You're kidding about the pricing thing, right? A country full of Jewish store owners and you think they didn't know that trick? :-)

Val... You're just happy that you don't have to share your birthday with Hanukkah! :-)

Mirty... I thought you were going to end the story by telling me that despite the shortage, everyone's candles burned for the whole 8 days! :-)

Stacey... The question is; sour cream or apple sauce?

Allison... Oh c'mon... it's just once a year, ya scrooge! :-)

Posted by: David | Dec 4, 2005 1:01:49 AM

Stacey... The question is; sour cream or apple sauce?

Sour cream, hands down!! Hell, hold the latka and just give me a container of sour cream and a spoon. Yum!

Posted by: Stacey | Dec 4, 2005 6:41:57 AM

Times have really changed there in Israel. I remember when Chanukah came and went except for all the vendors selling their sufganiot. I do remember when they opened a "real" doughnut shop in Tel Aviv, near Dizengoff. Boy were the American's happy campers, no more once a year to get their doughnuts.

Posted by: jaime | Dec 4, 2005 7:39:03 AM

This blog is very effective in making me miss Israel even more than I already do...

Posted by: mcaryeh | Dec 4, 2005 2:00:11 PM

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