Eighth Night of Hanukkah
(My memories from the 1990s)
On the eighth night of Hanukkah,
We’re celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa.
Candles will shed soft light
on the faces of our family tonight.
Children light the menorah carefully.
Their father smiles approvingly…
A quiet moment lingers like a dream…
before latkes, applesauce, and sour cream.
Enjoyed by glowing candlelight,
Hanukkah gelt is a sweet delight.
Children eagerly await
opening present number eight.
We sing,”Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel.”
Our pennies are on the table.
Spinning dreidels with Grandma, it’s clear,
“A great miracle happened here!”
Copyright© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia
Hanukkah is the Jewish festival of lights that commemorates the rededication of the second temple. There was enough oil in the temple lamps to burn for only one night, but miraculously, it burned for eight nights. “A great miracle happened here!” is the message conveyed by the Hebrew letters on the dreidel. A dreidel is a top that is spun in a traditional gambling game. Our children and their grandma played for pennies.
Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights. At sundown, the Hanukkah menorah is lit. One candle is lit on the first night. Another candle is added each night until, on the eighth night, all eight candles burn. Children receive a present on each night of Hanukkah.
A traditional Hanukkah food, latkes are grated potato pancakes fried in oil often served with applesauce and sour cream. The oil symbolizes the oil that burned for eight nights in the temple lamps. Hanukkah gelt is chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil. Our family also enjoyed chopped liver on matzos (similar to crackers) and matzo ball soup at Hanukkah.