Friday, December 26, 2008

Sixth Night

One of the Hanukkah traditions is Hanukkah Gelt. The word gelt means "money" in Yiddish. On Hanukkah, there is a tradition of giving real or chocolate coins as presents to children. Most likely because Hanukkah falls near Christmas, giving gelt has evolved into giving and receiving other presents on each of the eight nights of Hanukkah. In Israel we were "one Hanukkah gift" family, but here in US we are giving eight gifts to the girls. The gifts are small - books, cool markers, nothing too expensive. Last year I decorated eight boxes that we opened every night to find out what is the gift.

Thinking about this tradition I searched the Internet for the explanation why we do that. Here are some interesting suggestions for the source of this tradition (adapted from
  • First, the legal technical viewpoint. The Shulchan Aruch, Code of Jewish Law, explains that the menorah’s candles may only be viewed to recall the miracle and not for any other purpose, for example - counting money. Giving out Hanukkah money was a way to remember this law.
  • The Talmud refers to money on Hanukkah when it cautions Jews that they must light at least once candle, per household, per night on Hanukkah – even if they must go door to door for candle funds. The widespread custom of giving Hanukkah gelt enabled the poor to get the candle money they needed without feeling great embarrassment.
  • Twenty-two years after the Maccabees won the battle, their descendants, who became a royal family, minted coins to celebrate the county’s autonomy. Giving out gelt recalls this high point of Jewish freedom.
  • Hanukkah has the same three-letter root word as the Hebrew word for education, which is hinuch. This was the time of year, in the dead cold of winter, when poorly paid Jewish teachers would receive a bonus from their students’ parents.
  • Hanukah also comes in between holidays, during a long stretch of in-school time. Around Hanukah parents offered their children a little prize money to reward them for studying hard.

One of the gifts Ella got this year is Cuttlekids Shape Maker. She is having a blast! This 7 years old had no problems to understand how to use it and in no time she was making the cutest craft projects. I paid $15 for the machine (with 50% off coupon of course) and I think it totally worth it. You do need to apply some strength (my Revolution is easier on hands) but my determined child was very capable of doing it alone and didn't let anybody to touch her new toy.

Now to RAK #6. I have Karen Foster baby kit (7 patterned papers, 3 stickers sheets, word charms and small chipboard book kit), Baby cakes paper mini album kit and baby cards kit. I know I should probably take a picture but it is too dark and too late. Keep in mind that the products are not new but still very cute.

RAK #5 winner is....

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2008-12-27 05:37:38 UTC

Comment #16 is by Laura! Congratulations! Please email me with your address :)


  1. Thanks again for sharing Maya. I'm finding all of this very interesting.
    Congratulations Laura!

  2. הי מאיה, איזה בלוג מקסים יש לך. הרעיון שלכם לתת מתנות קטנות בכל יום של חנוכה הוא נהדר (נראה אם אני אצליח להתמיד בזה שנה הבאה). שיהיה לכם חג שמח

  3. HEY... love to see such a rich blog..... still going storng on the rak?

  4. Dear Maya,
    I finally subscribed to your blog, and I enjoy it.
    I loved you Christmas cards!
    It's generous of you to give RAKs :-)
    Happy Hanukkah,
    Dorly Weitzen

  5. אנחנו בכלל לא היינו משפחה של מתנות בחנוכה LOL
    היינו מקבלים מעות מהסבא והסבתא.
    השנה כשהכרזתי בעבודה שאנחנו חוגגים חנוכה, הם שאלו, אותי ומה קורה עם המתנות?
    אז החלטנו שבהחלט נעניק מתנה אחת בכל יום.
    זה דווקא הסתדר טופ, כי קיבלנו בדיוק את מספר המתנות הנדרש יחד עם זו שנשלחה מסבא וסבתא מהארץ :-)

  6. דרך אגב, אני Ribber LOL
    ושוב תודה על הזכייה :-)

  7. We give the kids all year round so now we are broke LOL. But every time we go out with them they get something small, just for fun.
    Your blog is OK, i got more information about Hanukkah than all the years of school LOL


  8. Maya I have enjoyed your blogs about your customs and foods! I have a much better understanding now. TFS, Merlene

  9. היי מאיה
    איזו נדיבות ורוחב לב
    תודה על המתנות הנפלאות
    וחג שמח

  10. I love all that you share. Very wonderful.

  11. Congrats Laura!

    I love all your information it's so much fun :D Can't wait for the last 2 nights :D

    I like your Holiday Cards. I still have 2 Christmas Cards that I haven't sent yet :p


  12. Maya,

    Thank you for blogging. I am learning so much from you and your blog.

  13. I remember as a child receiving many gifts from my aunts and grandparents. it's so nice that you are preserving the tradition.

  14. thanks again for educating us. My 9 yr old daughter loves her cuttlekid dies.

  15. Cuttlebug for kids, I haven't heard of that. Need to check it out. Thanks for sharing so much about Hanaukka. I hope you have a great day.

  16. Thanks for sharing your customs. This blog has taught me several things about a religion that I had never known. This has been so interesting. Thanks so much Maya.

  17. We give just one present on the first day. Saves a lot of headaches..

  18. שלום מאיה

    ההסבר שלך על דמי חנוכה נגע לליבי במיוחד, אני עוקבת אחרי הבלוג שלך כידוע בימים האחרונים.
    זוהי השנה הראשונה שבה אני אמא. ולא רק זה, רבות מחברותיי הן לראשונה אמהות השנה. אירחנו והתארחנו במהלך החג, והרגע הכי מרגש מבחינתי היה כשנתנו לקטנטנים הללו דמי חנוכה (סמליים בשלב זה כמובן). יש לי בת! והיא מקבלת דמי חנוכה! ואני אמא שלה!
    זה בלתי נתפס בעיני.

    לפני שנתיים וחצי שכלתי את אחותי ומאז העולם נצבע באפור. הקטנה הזו שנולדה לי השנה, החזירה לי את הצבע לחיים. אפילו את שירי חנוכה אני מצליחה כבר לשיר בחיוך.

    תודה שאת משתפת את שאר העולם במסורות החשובות שלנו