Thursday, December 14, 2006

Freilicha Chanaka!

Don't even think about it ringing my blog for tsedukah. I'll tell ya, this here 9 inch plastic plate holds my entire paycheck in coins. I juggle employment with motherhood; a part time office position that pays me just enough to keep my Chanukah charity fund afloat. Given that I started digging the gold mines at age 17 with a high school diploma (going for a major in Hilchas Shabbos) I can truthfully say my job's job is more to protect my sanity than to dress me in minks.

Eight Days Chanukah is the time I pause the hubbub of daily life to celebrate breadwinning.

It's called Chanukah Gelt.

Coming up, is the only holiday we actually work. 9:30 on a Chanaka AM in my office cubicle, I go about my daily life. I grab a bite of my sandwich, enter figures in QuickBooks but I somehow find myself day-dreaming over the children's faces. I can see my eldest especially; his dark eyes alive when his father hands him the $5 Chanakah earning. Oh, what do the children know about bosses, language barriers and taxes? What do they know about overworked, overtime and underpaid?

They'll know, in due time. For now I want to teach them that although we hustle through a fair amount of our life working, we can still spend the evenings gathered around a warm fire. After lighting the candles, we all sing muez tsuir, in what must be the most horse-crackled choir, but with every note I feel a growing sense of indescribable happiness. My husband tied up with the traditional thin gartle holds the little one on his tapping lap as she eagerly claps her dimpled hands together...The oh-so-grown misters, their tin menorahs burning over the windowsill, they shukel from side to side with the rhythm, a real example of deveykes. .

Deep inside me I feel a candle's flame igniting.

I just love Chanaka.

At night I serve latkas of my own making, customized with jam, custard or confection sugar as per individual order. I hum to them a Yom Tov Erlich song, one my mother would sing to us every Friday Night, while we watch the color candles extinguish one at a time.. For a special treat, there's distribution of chelkas around the dining room table, all bakers donning aprons. We mix flour and sugar, margarine and eggs and knead, roll and shape some delicious menorah themed vanilla cookies. Even Yoelish gets creative with the melted chocolate and sprinkles fiasco.

There's laughter. There's love. There's birth to memorable moments. All after a full day of gelt...

It's the 8 day miracle. A lesson to burn a whole year.

A WARM CHANAKA TO YOU AND YOURS!

28 comments:

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

CHARITY BOX!

Please, be so kind and donate some of your own Chanaka celebration suggestions.

Tizka Lemitzvos…

Note – If you’re having trouble posting comments you might need to try to log in with a gmail account (whatever that means… It’s the solution listed on blogger)

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/13/dining/13hanu.html

rachel said...

Home-made Latkes, cookies, do you make donuts too. Im coming to your house for Chanuka..

Chaim Chusid said...

Madame Pointe,

How could you forget kvitlich?

Mrs. Chaim graciously allows herself to be bribed with various gifts to allow me to stay out 'till the wee hours of the morning.

I remain,
CC

madinwilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hasid_letz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madinwilly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hasid_letz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

why is everything deleted?

ffsdfdsf said...

test

hoezentragerin said...

"I hum to them a Yom Tov Erlich song, one my mother would sing to us every Friday Night, while we watch the color candles extinguish one at a time"

Care to share which song it is?

davidonthelake said...

what a heartwarming post..

I love chanukah too..though I dont ever recall a 60 degree Chanukah.

I say thank god for so many grandparentsand great grandparents shtipping the kids with presents..I sort of get lost in the mix...and can usually get away with it..lol

davidonthelake

Baal said...

>OK, I'll spin you the dreidle for it!


Sorry, I prefer Kvitlech.

Baal Habos

Chaim Chusid said...

Hey B,

Sunday night game?

CC

Anonymous said...

Good Post!!!

yingerman said...

I love chanuka



I think its the 30 minutes I get to spend alone 'bored' at the lecht :)

Yoelish said...

http://www.jerusalemonline.com/ahmedinijad.asp

I got this in an email from a friend.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Anon 2:26 – Most peculiar piece in my opinion. Chassidic Letcho’s taking a prominent place in NY Dining and Wine…
Not bad, eh?

Rachel – Around here donuts are referred to as latkes. People found potato latkes gave them heartburn so we resorted to the sugary stuff…

Sir Caim Cussid and Baal – I hereby pronounce theeself the frumest blogeress of all!
I challenge you to top this: We don’t play kvitlech. Something’s wrong with it yiddishlech-wise. Never got to know the game.

Anon, Anon, Anon, Anon and ffsdfdsf – Great point!

Hoezentragerin – Mostly, Yaakob, the Yom Kippur Song (dee zin is fargangen), and Americhkah bring back childhood memories. I have a few manuscripts.
I promised myself never to sing one song I heard a lot: Der Briv Trager. Very sad song, gave me nightmares.

Davidonthelake – Thanks! Gifts? Anywhere there are gifts there’s me, wearing a construction vest. Anybody notice me? Are you just gonna let me stand here and watch?

Yingerman – Get to know this word: R-E-L-A-X

Yoelish – sad story…

Yukel said...

I love latkes, I mean the small potato kuglech, I can eat and eat and eat...

Very nice post, a reag warm-up for chanukkah.

Hoezentragerin said...

"I promised myself never to sing one song I heard a lot: Der Briv Trager. Very sad song, gave me nightmares."

Shpiz, you're getting me nostalgic here.
What about "Oifen himel flien toiben...."

My 2 favorites were "ich hob gevart in gevart" and that beautiful romantic song about Shloma hamelech's daughter. You know what I'm referring too?

Ex-Blogger said...

Yoish, siz azoi emoishenal.

Hoizen, wahts with shloimeh hamelechs tuchtar???
(are you refering to "the Generals Daughter"?)

nuch a chosid said...

my kids look forward to chanuka, its when i spend the most time home with them besides shabbos and yom tov

Eshet Chayil said...

I think I'm coming to your house this chanukah too. THe smell of baking is the best. I love to just walk past the bakeries and take a whiff.

Lakewood Venter said...

You crack me up, as usual!!! Have a Freilichen Chanuka!!!!!!!!!!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Hoezen – Memories, memories, memories!

Do you know the song Yattattei? Kindergarten kids used to sing it…

I don’t know much about Yom Tov Erlich as a person (is that really his name?), he doesn’t have a page on IMdb, but I think he’s the anti-Today’s-Satmar in many ways. The guy was very frum yet didn’t loose his ability to live and love in the process. He did his thing and did it his way. Not easy to understand with that heavy accent, but what I do, I can’t help appreciating the diversity of his songs. Between war heartbreak, Williamsburg dailies (Villiamsburg) and some nicely told folktales, there’s a little of everything.

Not often that this community actually allows someone to do something with their gifts.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Yukel – We put you down for 180 small potatoe latkes, nicely browned, individually wrapped in towel paper, oil giving a special shine to the wrapping paper... Freilicha Chanaka!

Ex – Can you put up a straight face for a minute here? Wait for the Yom Kippurim post… You’ll have to holler then.

Nuch a Chussid – Ditto!

Eshet Chail – A veibele like you should be makink er own bakink, you know dat? That’s what is an eshet chail in deh fist place.

Lakevent – Same to you!

Independent Frum Thinker said...

Great post.
Chanukah often brings up emotions that can get somewhat buried in the hustle-bustle of regular life.