Welcome to the year 2021, when the amount of different flavors of jelly donuts seems to be more than the number of ways to spell the name of the holiday Hanukkah. In case you were wondering, there are 24 ways to spell the name of Hanukkah, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. Why couldn’t we just pick one way to spell it? Because you know, two Jews and three opinions.
I was asked recently by a classmate of mine who does not celebrate the holiday of Chanukkah why exactly do we eat a bunch of extremely unhealthy, oil- filed donuts to somehow commemorate the Holiday of Miracles? While I tried to come up with a good explanation for her question, I ended with one piece of advice: eating a jelly donut without worrying that it will spill on your shoe can be indeed be a miracle for some of us.
Going through life can definitely have its dark times. We enter the holiday of Chanukkah, sometimes realizing that the unknown and awkward moments are still in front of us. What if I’m an introvert and I don’t want to sing Maoz Tzur out loud? What if I’m the only one celebrating my holiday eating my donut while everyone else is wondering what does the name Chanukkah even mean? And what is the weird candelabra we light? How much can I really sit down in front of candles burning for 30 minutes and pray?
The idea of eating jelly donuts on Chanukkah teaches us the beauty of our unique identities and what makes us so diverse and special from each other. The type of donut we choose to eat represents who we are and what kind of filling we want to enrich our lives with. For someone, it may be passion spread with sweetness like chocolate filling. For others, it may be intricate with lots of opportunities and optimism, like sprinkles all over the top. However one decides, the classic jelly filled donut with powdered sugar on top will still never go out of style.
As the saying goes, “ They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” Apparently, they weren’t wrong about Chanukkah either.