How is Chanukah like Purim? 

Posted by mendel Monday, November 29, 2010 12:45:48 AM

Purim is characterized by "opposites", where the opposite of what was expected happened and part of our celebration is doing things differently - the opposite of the usual.

I feel like some of this has transferred to Chanukah. The great miracle of Chanukah that we commemorate is that 1 day of oil lasted 8 days. Now, we use 8 days of oil in 1 day - and I'm not talking about the menorah! Latkes, donuts, whatever - made with tons of oil. Now, I like latkes as much as the next guy, which is a problem since that means less for me. Well, maybe that's a good thing, but let's get back to the point. It's really not a problem to eat latkes. I certainly do not advocate that people should stop ever having fried foods. The problem is the excess. This is a problem of our generation - so much is done to excess, except things like taking responsibility. Chanukah is such a kids holiday. The messages of Chanukah are very important. I am not sure how consuming mass quantities of food drowned in oil every day for 8 days is in keeping with the spirit of a holiday of the saving of our spiritual life. Even in celebrations involving food we need to show moderation, and that is an important lesson for our children. Yes, have latkes and enjoy them, but both cooked and eaten in moderation. And with a healthy choice of oil - not generic vegetable oil, but olive or canola oil, or safflower oil (walnut oil can be quite expensive).

Obesity is a major problem in our country, and likely causes greater devastation on the economy than the subprime mortgage fiasco did. It isn't going away so fast, either. It's a major, long-term battle. It's everywhere, and needs everyone to get involved. I'll post more about just how everywhere it is another day. For now, have a Happy Chanukah! And if you can't enjoy your latkes this year because of me, then I'm sorry. Sort of. :)

Some of this message is contained in the posters I created for Chanukah. See Posters. Enjoy them - but more importantly, publicize them. Print and post them in your community. Synagogues, bookstores, JCC, kosher shops.

Copyright, mendel singer
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