Beit Haverim members undertake making 400 latkes for Hanukkah dinner
Several women of Beit Haverim in Lake Oswego gathered last week to tackle a major chore in preparation for the joyous festival of Hanukkah. The Beit Haverim Latke Making Mavens stepped up to complete their mission: to make 400 latkes thats right, 400 enough to feed the crowd expected at the feast celebrating the start of the eight-day Festival of Lights.
Hanukkah marks the Macabees long-ago defeat of the much-larger Greek-Syrian army that had invaded Israel. The Macabees were a small group of Jews who, with Gods help, proved stronger than their powerful enemy. Following the Macabees victory, the Jews rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and, once again, were able to worship freely.
Although Hanukkah celebrates a military victory, its major symbol the menorah, reminds us of the miracle of the oil. As the Jews purified the Holy Temple, they found only one flask of the oil for the eternal lamp enough to keep it burning for just one day. But a miracle occurred, and the oil lasted eight days and nights until more oil could be brought from afar. That miracle explains why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and why Hanukkah is called the Festival of Lights.
The Hanukkah menorah holds nine candles, one for each of the eight nights and an additional candle thats used to light the others. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second night and so on until all eight candles are lit on the eighth night.
Hanukkah is a time to celebrate with family and friends, to eat yummy holiday treats, to give gifts (especially to children) and to play the dreidel game.
Latkes, or potato pancakes, are traditionally eaten at Hanukkah, as are sufganiyot, or jelly doughnuts. They are cooked in oil and serve as a reminder to Jews of the miracle of the oil.
Working in Claire Fryes West Linn kitchen, the Latke Making Mavens used more than 40 pounds of russet potatoes, 10 pounds of onions, dozens of eggs and untold quantities of oil to complete their task.