Jewish Journal

Deep Fried

by Mihal Levy

December 11, 2009 | 5:33 pm

Although Hanukkah is not the holiday of questions, I still have one.  I know why this night is different than all other nights.  But, if a little bit of oil went a long way, oh so long ago…why must I purchase vats of oil for a deep fried supper tonight?  I’m just asking.  Shouldn’t a little go a long way?  After all, a miracle happened where a little oil lasted for longer than expected.  Perhaps to keep with tradition, using less oil would be a more appropriate way to celebrate the holiday?  Aren’t there plenty of things to enjoy that aren’t fried?  Ok, maybe not many, but still.

Every Jewish holiday revolves around food, every holiday for that matter come to think of it: Memorial day-barbeques, 4th of July-barbeques, Presidents Day.  (Ok, maybe not Presidents’ Day.)  But, Hanukkah is exceptional as it revolves around a vat of oil.  Everything during Hanukkah is deep fried.  Myself included.  By the time Hanukkah roles around I feel like I’ve been deep fried, dipped in batter and deep fried again. 

When I was younger, I could not wait for Hanukkah (maybe it had something to do with the gift-giving), but today I wait hesitantly with a bottle of Pepto Bismol on hand.  Why is it that when you are sixteen, you can down a whole pizza and liter of soda, fast forward to your thirties and just the thought of greasy foods sends one into an acid reflux frenzy?

Acid reflux or not, I join in the holiday fun.  Because, in the words of Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof), “Tradition, Tradition! Tradition!”


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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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