Quincy's Jewish Heritage: Celebrating Hanukkah

A variety of dreidels to celebrate Hanukkah.

A one day supply of oil that burned for eight days ... that is the heart of the story of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah .

The complete story is one of bravery against enemies wishing to destroy the Jewish way of life.

Now centuries later, the miracle of Hanukkah has become one of the most beloved events on the Jewish calendar.

For eight nights, the candles of the menorah are lit to symbolize the eight days that the oil burned.

For Quincy resident Carla Gordon, Hanukkah is steeped in family tradition and history.

"It's been part of our oral traditions to share that not only with our own families, our children, our grandchildren, but to share that with the community as well," Gordon explained.

And don't forget about the dreidel .

Each side of this four-sided top has a Hebrew letter on it spelling out the phrase, "A great miracle happened here", referring once again to the eight days the oil lasted.

The game is a great time for families to have fun and share stories and win tasty prizes like chocolate covered coins and M&Ms.

And no holiday would be complete without great food.

There's nothing that brings back Hanukkah memories like the smell of potato pancakes known as latkes cooking in the kitchen.

"We just enjoy the peeling of the potato, the rasping of the potato, combining it with egg and matza meal and seeing it fry and having a house that smells for days, days of the aroma for making the latkes," a smiling Carla Gordon said.

Quincian Myron Kirsch explains why the latkes are prepared the way they are.

"The reason that they're fried in oil is symbolic of the oil that lasted for eight nights, or eight days," Kirsch said.

Many non-Jews think of Hannukah as a Jewish version of Christmas since both holidays can occur close to each other.

But actually Hanukkah can fall anytime between November 28th to December 26th.