Sunday, November 25, 2012

This Hanukkah, Create Your Own Olive Oil Custom

Customs are not written in stone. They evolve. Over the past two years I've covered numerous Hanukkah customs from Jewish communities around the world: Hanukkah pinatas from Mexico, the Hassidic custom of the rebbe playing his violin on Hanukkah,  the origins of Hanukkah Gelt and more.
Now I've decided it's time to develop a new custom -- home-made olive oil for lighting the Hannukiah. I've even found a Youtube video created by ChallahCrumbs to help you get started.

Why olive oil? because it's a great way to connect kids with the Bible, Israel, and of course Hanukkah. For starters, how about the olive leaf that the dove brought back to Noah signaling that the flood had abated? The olive branch was the world's first peace offering.

Next: olives are one of the seven species.
Hmm...that could spark a whole discussion on agriculture in Israel past and present, plus serve as a segue to environmental protection. Then we have the uses of olives and olive oil in Biblical times: as a sacrifice, a cooking condiment, a medical ointment, a way for anointing priests and kings, and of course a means for creating light.  Which of course leads us to the Hanukkah miracle.

Sound oil right to you?

Olive oil photo credit 
Olives photo credit

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