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Things You Might Not Know About Hanukkah

Things You Might Not Know About Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a special time of year, learn more about it here

Impress your family with your knowledge of The Festival of Lights.

When it comes to Hanukkah, you’re probably all too familiar with the lights, latkes, and dreidel-playing, but you may not be aware that despite it being one of the most recognized of the Jewish holidays, it does not carry much religious importance. In fact, Hanukkah is the only Jewish festival that honors an event not even mentioned in the Torah.

Click here for the 7 Things You Might Not Know About Hanukkah (Slideshow)

The historic reason we celebrate the Jewish “Festival of Lights” dates back to the second century. The holiday commemorates the recapturing of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Jewish rebels (Maccabees) after their victory over the Greek-Syrians. The Temple menorah, which was meant to burn every night, needed to be lit, but there was only enough blessed oil to keep the flame burning for one day. The miracle that followed was that the oil lamps continued to burn for eight days until fresh supplies of oil were obtained. The lighting of eight candles at Hanukkah symbolizes those eight miraculous days.

As the festivities kick off at sundown, we bring you 8 more fascinating facts you might not know about the holiday.


It’s all about the sufganiyot. Approximately 18 million jam-filled doughnuts (sufganiyot) are consumed in Israel during the eight days of Hanukkah. Roughly 80 percent of Israelis will eat at least one oily sufganiyot during the week of Hanukkah, with the average Israeli devouring at least four over the holiday period. The sweet treat is traditionally made with strawberry jam, but today’s sufganiyot makers are becoming increasingly innovative and turning out flavors from pistachio to dulce de leche.

sed out. Her actions helped save Israel from Babylonian invasion.

Is it Hanukkah, Hanukah, or Chanukah?

Hanukkah is a Hebrew word (חֲנֻכָּה), so it is difficult to transliterate it “correctly” into English, and that’s why there are many acceptable spellings of the word. There are at least 16 different ways to spell the holiday in English according to the web. The Spanish have at least three variations, with “Janukah” being the most prevalent. In 2005, the Board of Guardians of British Jews decided enough was enough and decreed that “British Jews should only spell the festival of Chanukah as Chanukah.”

7 Jewish Recipes to Make in an Air Fryer

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Fried food is great &mdash crunchy, satisfyingly oily, totally indulgent. But there&rsquos a reason it&rsquos usually reserved for special occasions &mdash the sluggish aftermath isn&rsquot conducive to anything but a long nap. Don&rsquot be downhearted, though, because there&rsquos a handy gadget the on the market that yields the same results as a deep fat fryer, only with way less oil, none of that post-binge fatigue, and easier cleanup: the air fryer.

We&rsquove rounded up our favorite air-fried versions of Jewish comfort foods to enjoy:

1. Air-Fried Schnitzel

Few things beat a really good schnitzel. The air fryer ensures that the inside stays juicy and the outside is crisp &mdash with none of the grease. Heaven.

2. Air-Fried Pickles

The only thing better than a fat pickle plucked straight from a vendor&rsquos tub on New York&rsquos Lower East Side is a fried pickle. Scratch that, an air fried pickle. Crunchy with seasoned panko bread crumbs, this is the perfect guilt-free snack.

3. Air-Fried Falafel

Let&rsquos be frank: even deep-fried homemade falafel often sucks. Not this recipe. It doesn&rsquot cut any corners, calling for dried chickpeas and lots of parsley and cilantro for a vivid green interior. Absolutely worth the effort.

Photo credit: Emily Paster

4. Air-Fried General Tso&rsquos Chicken

Chinese food isn&rsquot just for Christmas, and this air-fried General Tso&rsquos chicken recipe is better than any takeout. It keeps all the spice and crunch of the original, but won&rsquot leave you needing a nap.

5. Air-Fried Sufganiyot

On that note, sufganiyot are absolutely not just for Hanukkah &mdash who really knows what day it is anymore, anyway?! It&rsquos totally acceptable to sample all three flavors of these air-fried sufganiyot in one sitting.

Photo credit: Emily Paster

6. Air-Fried Latkes

If you&rsquore already in the holiday spirit, try your hand at air-fried latkes. Requiring only a spritz of oil instead of an entire panful, this recipe is far less messy than the original, but just as tasty.

7. Air-Fried Fish (and Chips)

Did you know that fish and chips was brought to England by Portuguese Jews who fled the Inquisition? Read all about it here. We wonder what they would make of this versatile, super easy air-fried version &mdash we&rsquore big fans.

2. Menorah or hanukkiyah?

A child lights a menorah with oil for Hanukkah.

Sergio Mendoza Hochmann/Getty Images

A menorah, the Hebrew word for lamp, has seven branches. It was originally used in the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem. Menorahs were lit daily using olive oil of the purest quality. A hanukkiyah is a Hanukkah menorah used specifically to light the candles (often used today instead of oil) on Hanukkah. With nine branches, it is lit each night to celebrate the miracle of oil lasting eight days. Despite these differences, today hanukkiyahs are commonly referred to as menorahs.

20 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Antoni Porowski From Queer Eye

Antoni Porowski is one of the biggest breakout stars from the reboot of Queer Eye, and though you may feel like you know him after watching him on your TV for so long, there's a lot you probably don't know. We broke down some of the things you may not know about our favorite food and wine expert.

Antoni was the last one to be cast for Queer Eye but he was clearly the missing puzzle piece they needed.

"Everybody has their turn to come in and we sort of started to see this sort of bond form a little bit with Karamo and Bobby," casting director Danielle Gervais told CNN. "And then Tan kind of fell into the mix and then all of a sudden, we brought in Jonathan and then it felt like, wow, and then Antoni came in and all of a sudden it was the five of them. It was like putting together a magic puzzle."

Commencement of press week.

A post shared by Antoni Porowski (@antoni) on Jan 29, 2018 at 9:33am PST

Antoni said that before he meets one of the show's heroes, he only gets a short bio with some dietary restrictions, according to Into The Gloss. Once he meets them and goes through their fridge he said he learns a bit more about them and what he wants to teach them.

While Freemasonry is not itself a religion, all its members believe in a Supreme Being, or "Grand Architect of the Universe.” Members come from many faiths, but one denomination in particular bars any crossover. The Catholic Church first condemned Freemasonry in 1738, prompted by concern over Masonic temples and the secret rituals performed within them. In the 19th century, the Vatican even called the Masons "the Synagogue of Satan."

The Church went even further in 1983, declaring: “Their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion." 

12 Facts About Hanukkah You Probably Didn't Know

Everything you need to know about the Festival of Lights.

Chag sameach or, Happy Hanukkah! As the holiday is fast approaching, we thought we should break down the history behind some of the Jewish holiday's traditions. From its history and its food to how to celebrate it today, here are twelve things to know about the history of Hanukkah.

The holiday commemorates the triumph of a band of rebel Jews known as the Maccabees in reclaiming their temple from the Greek-Syrians.

The temple required a holy light to burn inside at all times, but the Jews had only enough oil for one night. Incredibly, the light burned for eight days.

A Menorah is a candelabra with nine candles. Four on either side and a candle in the center intended to light all the others. This is known as the shamash and it sits higher than (or somehow apart from) the other candles.

It used to be tradition for people to give money to one another for Hanukkah. But as Christmas became more popular, more and more Jewish people began giving gifts instead.

Latkes, sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts), apple fritters, kugel- when you think of the food served at Hanukkah most of them are fried. This isn&rsquot a coincidence, people fry their food in oil for Hanukkah as a symbol for the miracle oil that burned for eight nights straight.

This year you can see the lighting of the 32 feet high and 4,000 pound Menorah every night from December 2nd to December 9th.

Jewish holidays like Passover and Rosh Hashanah are actually much more significant to the religion.

In 1951, he accepted a Menorah as a gift from the Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion.

You may have seen the holiday spelled like Hanukkah, Hannuka, or Chanukah. the list goes on. The most common version is Hanukkah, but all of the spellings are actually accurate. Because there is no correct way to directly translate the Hebrew sounds to English, it could be spelled a variety of different ways, each equally correct.

The Greek-Syrians had outlawed Jewish studies, so the Jews spun dreidels to pretend they were merely playing games while they engaged with their scripture.

To celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting eight days, many of the holiday's festive foods are prepared in oil, particularly: the family favorite sufganiyot (or jelly donuts).

Jews follow a tradition of incentivizing their children to learn Torah on this holiday by gifting them gelt, or golden-wrapped chocolates that resemble coins. Gelt can also be won in a game of Dreidel!

15 Things You Didn't Know About Giada De Laurentiis

No one's ever called Giada De Laurentiis soft-spoken. Food Network's resident Italian expert is pretty vocal on and off her show &mdash so much so that it sort of feels like we know everything about her. But if you're unfamiliar, consider this your first official meeting.

Her reputation as a legit Italian chef comes honestly. De Laurentiis was born on August 22, 1970 in Rome. She didn't move to America until she was 7-years-old.

The most famed member of her family was Academy Award-nominated Dino De Laurentiis, her maternal grandfather. Her mother, Veronica De Laurentiis was an actress, and her father, Alex De Benedetti, was an actor and a producer.

De Laurentiis's degree from the University of Los Angeles is in anthropology, but she later decided to pursue her passion. She enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and specialized in both cuisine and pastry.

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, De Laurentiis scored jobs as a chef in Southern California at the Ritz-Carlton and at Wolfgang Puck's Spago. Eventually, she opened her own catering company called GDL Foods.

According to From Scratch, a tell-all book about Food Network, the head of the network spotted De Laurentiis's photo in an article about her grandfather. He called her up and asked if she wanted to host a cooking show.

Rumor has it, while training to be on television, De Laurentiis's producer Irene Wong instructed her to grin and bear it throughout the entire show &mdash while talking, while lifting a super-heavy pan, while testing a bite of food. Now, she works to take care of it: De Laurentiis even keeps teeth whitener in the fridge because it lasts longer in there.

It was called Everyday Italian and went on for five years and 12 seasons. The first cookbook she ever wrote shared the same name and featured some of the most popular recipes on the show.

In addition to being a regular Today Show food correspondent, De Laurentiis has been the host of eight regular series on Food Network, including Food Network Star and Giada In Italy.

De Laurentiis has written nine different cookbooks focused on all things Italian: pasta, weeknight meals, family dinners. She also created a picture book meets cookbook series for kids. There are eight books, each of which highlight one of De Laurentiis's favorite places, including Paris, Naples, and New Orleans.

Italy is obviously a favorite, but the travel section on De Laurentiis's site reveals so many other places she's been. She's got guides to fifty spots all over the world, with restaurant and store recommendations.

It's located in The Cromwell Hotel in Las Vegas, and it's named after her: Giada. Her second one, Pronto, just opened at Caesars Palace in Vegas, and a third spot, GDL Italian by Giada, will open in Baltimore soon.

De Laurentiis married Todd Thompson in 2003, and the couple had a daughter, Jade, in 2008. But in 2015, De Laurentiis and Thompson got divorced. After, she was linked to Bobby Flay, but she and her producer boyfriend Shane Farley are now pretty open about their nearly three-year relationship.

She told Bon Appetit that spaghetti with melted chocolate was her favorite meal growing up. "Once in a blue moon, I'll still have it," she told the magazine.

She's stressed the point in a ton of interviews, but her appearance on Conan went totally viral. Apparently, we're all saying the name of the noodle incorrectly. It's spah-gih-tee, not spuh-geh-tee.

Must-Know Hanukkah Words and Phrases

Al Hanisim &mdash Pronounced ahl hah-nee-SEEM. Literally &ldquoon the miracles,&rdquo the prayer added to the Amidah prayer and Birkat Hamazon (blessing said after meals) during Hanukkah.

Dreidel (also commonly spelled dreydel) &mdash Pronounced DRAY-dull. A spinning top with four sides, each marked with a different Hebrew letter and each indicating a different play in this game.

Gelt &mdash Yiddish for money, which was traditionally given on Hanukkah. Today, it is more often used to identify foil-covered chocolate coins, which are included in many Hanukkah celebrations.

Hanukkah gelt. (Wikimedia)

Hanukkah (also commonly spelled Chanukah) &mdash Pronounced HAH-nuh-kuh. Literally &ldquorededication,&rdquo an eight-day holiday commemorating the Maccabees recapturing the Temple from the Greeks.

Hanukkiyah&mdash Pronounced hah-noo-kee-YAH or hah-noo-KEE-yuh (oo as in boot). Literally &ldquoHanukkah lamp,&rdquo it is more commonly referred to as a menorah (see below). It contains nine candle-holders, one for each night of Hanukkah and one to hold the Shamash (see below).

Latkes &mdash Pronounced LAHT-kuhs, sometimes LAHT-kees. Pancakes, usually potato ones, fried in oil and eaten on Hanukkah.

Maccabees &mdash Pronounced MACK-uh-bees. The family of religious zealots who triumphed over the Syrian Greeks and liberated the Temple.

Menorah&mdash Pronounced muh-NOHR-uh. Literally &ldquolamp,&rdquo it originally was used only to describe the seven-branched candelabrum that was used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. However, the hanukkiyah used on Hanukkah is commonly referred to as a menorah.

Nes Gadol Hayah Sham &mdashPronounced ness gah-DOHL high-YAH shahm. Literally &ldquoa great miracle happened there,&rdquo the letters on the dreidel (nun, gimmel, hey, shin) represent these words. In Israel, the shin is replaced with a peh, so the letters spell out Nes Gadol Hayah Po, or &ldquoa great miracle happened here.&rdquo

Sevivon &mdash Pronounced suh-vee-VOHN. The Hebrew word for dreidel.

Shamash (also often spelled shammash) &mdash Pronounced shah-MAHSH. Literally &ldquothe helper,&rdquo the candle on the Hanukkiyah that is used to light the other candles.

Sufganiyot &mdash Pronounced soof-gahn-ee-YOHT. Doughnuts, usually jelly-filled ones, fried in oil and eaten on Hanukkah

Pronounced: KHAH-nuh-kah, also ha-new-KAH, an eight-day festival commemorating the Maccabees’ victory over the Greeks and subsequent rededication of the temple. Falls in the Hebrew month of Kislev, which usually corresponds with December.

Pronounced: kha-new-KEY-uh, Origin: Hebrew, a candelabra with eight branches used for Hanukkah candles. Also known as a Hanukkah menorah.

Pronounced: muh-NOHR-uh, Origin: Hebrew, a lamp or candelabra, often used to refer to the Hanukkah menorah, or Hanukkiah.

7 Things You Need To Know Know Before You Eat M&Ms

Although the candies are now only found in truly fun places, M&Ms were apparently dreamed up in the most unexpected spot: the battlefield. As the story goes, Forrest Mars saw soldiers in the Spanish Civil War eating pieces of chocolate covered in a sugar coating. When he realize that the coating was preventing the chocolate from melting, he filed his own patent to manufacture chocolate that way. (He secured the patent in 1941.)

2. The commercials are beloved.

The brand has always been known for it's amazing commercials. In the 1970s, it launched a spot that used a spin on Sammy Davis Jr.'s famous "Candyman" song:

In the 80s, the catch phrase "Melts in your mouth, not in your hand" set the world on fire:

The 90s brought the personification of the candies&mdashM&Ms were introduced as cute little characters in a super-charming way:

Today, the yellow and red M&Ms are the stars&mdashand they've secured themselves in the commercial hall of fame with this holiday favorite:

3. Some famous people voice those characters.

There are six different characters that represent the brand&mdashbut yellow and red M&Ms seem to get all of the air time, and the glory. To that end, most people don't know that both characters have been voiced by some famous actors.

Health-conscious customers object to Bisquick’s use of trans fat—specifically, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil—as an ingredient in the baking mix. Partially hydrogenated oils can raise your level of LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower your level of HDL (good) cholesterol, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. Consequently, you can find recipes online for a homemade Bisquick alternative, which uses flour, butter, baking powder, and salt.

Bisquick Heart Smart Pancake and Baking Mix is an option for customers who don’t want to eat trans fat (and don’t want to make their own homemade version of Bisquick). This variant contains no partially hydrogenated oils and has zero grams of trans fat.

Watch the video: Crosswalks Dont Always Make You Safer (November 2021).