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    How to Light the Hanukkah Candles

    What are the prayers for the first night of Hanukkah again?? Here is an easy reference for you! And if we still need a menorah? We have those for you too!

    Here's what you need to know. Each night, we add one more candle to the menorah, adding from right to left (just like Hebrew!). The first night (after sunset) we just light the shammus (the taller candle) and use that candle to light the furthest candle on the right, while saying the prayers below. The second night, we add one more candle, and use the shammus, light the two candles from left to right. Repeat each night until the whole menorah is lit!

    The Blessings:

    Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha'olam, asher kid'shanu b'mitzvotav v'tsivanu l'hadlik ner shel Hanukkah.

    Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Ruler of all, who hallows us with mitzvot, commanding us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.

    Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha'olam, she-asah nisim la'avoteinu v'imoteinu bayamim hahaeim baz'man hazeh.

    Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who performed wondrous acts for our ancestors in days of old at this season.

    On the first night, we add:

    Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha'olam, shehecheyanu v'kiy'manu v'higianu laz'man hazeh.

    Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, for giving us life, for sustaining us, and for enabling us to reach this season.

    Dreidel: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About the Hanukkah Game


    Who doesn't love playing games? 
    Especially when those games involve winning chocolate money! (AKA chocolate gelt)
    During Hanukkah, one of the most popular traditions for children (and adults) is playing the dreidel game. There are many versions of the game; adults and children alike have found ways to "up" the ante to ensure it really is a classic. With all of this in mind, we decided to dive a bit into the history of the dreidel, game, and ways to play. Comment below to share your dreidel game traditions!

    What is a dreidel?
    A dreidel, or sevivon in Hebrew, is a four-sided spinning-top. Letters are inscribed into each side to commemorate the miracle of Hanukkah and comprise of the first letter of each word in the statement in Hebrew "נס גדול היה שם‎" (transliterated as Ness Gadol Haya Sham) and meaning "a great miracle happened there". There being Jerusalem, Israel, where the Hanukkah miracle occurred. 
    Need to buy a few dreidels? Check out our selection! They make wonderful gifts. 

    How did the game come about?
    There are many theories of how the dreidel game came about, but our personal favorite is that it originated from the English top called teetotum which was inscribed with letters denoting the Latin words for “nothing,” “half,” “everything” and “put in.” When the teetotum arrived in Germany it was called trendel. This evolved into dreidel in Yiddish and used as a teaching tool for letters. The game overtime was adapted into the game for Hanukkah. 

    How to play?
    Number of Players: 3-10 
    Ages: Any age! 
    Game Pieces
    The most important step is the selection of the winning/game pieces. The winner gets to keep all of the winnings so it's really important you pick wisely. Each player should start somewhere between 15-20 game pieces. Some of my favorite game pieces include:
    1. Chocolate gelt
    2. Quarters
    3. Raisins
    4. M&Ms
    Game Steps
    1. Split the pieces equally between all the players (~15-20 pieces each)
    2. Select a player to start, typically youngest player goes first. 
    3. Before the first player plays, each player puts in one piece into the pot. 
    4. Each player spins the dreidel once until it falls on a side. The side up decides which action the player needs to complete:
    • נ‎ (nun) is face up. The player gets a pass and does nothing.
    • ג‎ (gimel) is face up. The player gets everything in the pot!
    • ה‎ (hey)  is face up. The player gets half of the pieces (rounded up) in the pot.
    •  ש‎ (shin) is face up. The player puts a piece in the pot. 
    5. When the pot runs out, each player needs to put another piece in. 
    6. A player is out of the game when all of his/her pieces run out. 
    7. The game continues until a player wins all of the pieces 

    What other versions can we play?
    • Get Competitive! Turn the game into a real dreidel tournament with this Major League Dreidel's Spinagogue! (Sold out for the season.)
    • Adult Only Party? Introduce some fun drinking games!
    • Create your own dreidel bingo game
    Don't forget to tell us about your dreidel and Hanukkah traditions in the comments below :) 

    Hanukkah Giveaway with ModernTribe + Manischewitz

    Giveaway is over! Terri G is the winner!

    Giveaway time! ModernTribe and Manischewitz have joined forces to bring you this fun giveaway just in time for Hanukkah! One winner will receive all of this:

    Oh boy! To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter below with your email, and follow Manischewitz and ModernTribe on Facebook and Instagram for more chances to win. Good luck!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    No purchase necessary to win. Giveaway open to US and Canada residents only. 

    How to Make the Best Latkes

    What is Hanukkah without latkes? Not nearly as delicious. Here is our recipe for the best latkes.The best latkes
    The Best Latkes Recipe
    Makes 10+ Latkes
    • 2 pounds, about 5 cups when shredded) russet potatoes, washed and peeled
    • 1/4 medium white onion, minced and dried well
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ cup canola or other oil or more to fry
    1. Start by shredding your potatoes with a grater into a bowl of ice water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove potatoes, squeezing out the moisture into the water. Dry potatoes very well with towels. Let water sit 10 minutes for starch to accumulate on the bottom. Carefully drain water, reserving the white starch on the bottom. This part is optional but leads to crispier latkes. You can also add 1 tablespoon potato starch to the mix.
    2. Place potatoes in a large bowl, dry again very well. Then add in the onion,  garlic, eggs, flour and salt and reserved starch and combine.
    3. Meanwhile, heat up canola oil in a large saute pan. Scoop two tablespoon dollops of the potato mixture and flatten lightly and fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Then flip and fry the other side. Season with salt, drain on a rack over paper towels. Eat with applesauce and sour cream!

    To make ahead, fry the latkes as normal but do not drain them and put them on a cookie sheet. Freeze the whole sheet and then to reheat just put in the oven at 375 frozen. The oil kind of refries them. Nearly as delicious as fresh. You can also keep warm in a 200-degree F oven to keep warm for a short period of time. Enjoy!