Judaism was so unfamiliar to my son that he was wary of my Hanukkah gift. I felt as though, at such a young age, he was choosing to shun my religion, to identify with Christianity. Of course, if he chooses to identify with either religion later in life, that decision will be his own – but for now, I need to at least give Judaism a fighting chance.
Nine-branched candelabra used during Hanukkah – eight branches for each night of the holiday, plus another branch (often taller, central, or more prominently displayed) for the shamash (helper) candle, which is used to light the others.
"Spinning top" in Yiddish (derived from German); "sevivon" in Hebrew; toy used in a children's Hanukkah game.
"Money" (Yiddish); often given as a Hanukkah gift; used for playing dreidel.
"Dedication;" the joyous eight-day celebration during which Jews commemorate the victory of the Macabees over the armies of Syria in 165 B.C.E. and the subsequent liberation and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem.
"Pancake" (Yiddish); fried potato pancake often eaten on Hanukkah; plural: latkes.
Seven- or nine-branched candelabra; commonly refers to the nine-branched Hanukkah lamp; plural: menorot.
"A great miracle happened there;" the first letter of each of these words is found on the dreidel.
"Jelly doughnuts;" traditionally eaten in Israel during Hanukkah; singular: sufganiyah.
"15th of Shevat;" New Year of the Trees; Jewish Arbor Day, which is a minor festival.