When it comes to Chanukah, playing the dreidel game is as ubiquitous as lighting the candles on a chanukiyah and eating latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts).
Ask a group of average Jews what they know about Shavuot, and you’re likely to hear something like: “Oh sure, that’s the holiday when we eat cheesecake.” From a biblical standpoint, Shavuot is one of the holiest days in Judaism, but as a holiday on the Jewish calendar it is one of the most misunderstood and overlooked.
On an unexpectedly rainy late spring evening in Santa Barbara, Aldo’s new owner, Brad Sherman, stands in the doorway between the patio and the dining room, waiting to welcome diners. He is eager, thoughtful, neatly dressed in plaid shirt and slacks, at ease as he guides a family from Minnesota to a table and answers questions from a retired fellow about the discount for people with tickets to local cultural events. He recommends a good wine, jokes with the servers, one of whom is his daughter, Geneva, and always keeps an eye on the door.