Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shuq and Haunukkah

Today started off slowly as we all tried to relax a bit.  We then took Mother and Lindsay to some olive wood shops in East Jerusalem before going to West Jerusalem to visit the Shuq or outdoor market (cf. Arabic souq) known as Mahane Yehudah.  This was quite an experience for our vistors.

While we were in the area, we stopped at a Judaica shop, where we bought a Hanukkah menorah, known as a hanukkiah. The owners were very friendly and helpful and seemed to appreciate my attempts at Hebrew.

We then walked around Jaffa and Ben Yehuda Streets a bit to give Mom and Lindsay more of a feel for the local color.

Sufganiyot or "Hanukkah donuts" on sale
Hanukkah began at sundown tonight, which which was the reason I was anxious to get a hanukkiah.  So our Advent preparations for Christmas are now accented by some Hanukkah observances---latkes (fried potato pancakes), some gifts of candy for the kids, and playing with a dreidel.

Actually a fairly minor holiday from the religious perspective, the old Macabbean story of resistance to oppression and assimilation touches a powerful chord in the modern Israeli experience.  For us, though, it is perhaps more significant because of the narrative of rededication of the temple and God's working or miracles for his people.  And living here in Jerusalem, it is certainly something we want our children to understand and experience.

Christmas, Hanukkah, Advent . .  . all in one living room!

Yeah, that is a little advertising for Good Tidings of Great Joy!

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