Frum guide: Chanukah

How to Make it a Religious Holiday
(from the guide on how to be a religious-frum Jew)

Chanukah is not a religious holiday. Nothing about the Holiday is frum. If you want to be frum, you should skip Chanukah.

Reasons Chanukah is not frum:

-Any holiday that you can shower on is not religious. If you can smell good, it is not religious.

-Chilonim- secular Jews like it. Anything secular Jews like cannot be frum. Why do you think frum Jews stopped eating shrimp?

-Sing Christmas carols to Hebrew words. That is XMas you non-frum wreath hanging sinner. Those songs like ‘We light…one for each night,’ are not even Jewish.

-Not one famous American Jewish singer ever wrote a Chanukah song, which is why most Jews feel it is easier to connect with Xmas. And do not say Matisyahu. I think he recently made a decision that his spiritual quest forced him to be Bhaji.

-Chabad is out in the public celebrating it with huge Chanukias (those are the chanukah Menoras, you nonHebrew speaking nonTemple praying Hellenist)

-Spinning tops are not frum. Call it dreidel, but gambling is forbidden unless you are in Vegas for the Diamonds convention. Putting money down on dreidel is ‘Misachek BKoobiah’ (gambling you apikores who cannot bare witness).

-We get gifts and not one of the people that gives us the gift has a long white beard.

-Chocolate coins as Chanukah Gelt is a rip off. The chocolates are also too small for any real Jew to enjoy. The fact that gelt is Yiddish does give the tradition of giving money some religious significance.

-No Galus or as you know it, Diaspora, involved in the holiday. Any holiday that even hints to redemption is not religious. Even worse, is if the holiday speaks of Israel being united. For this same reason, no true frum Jew would even think to say Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day- Oy, If I forget thee oh galus).

-The Holiday is fun.

The only part to Chanukah that is frum is eating. But even sufganiot, which are jellyless jelly doughnuts, are not frum at all. Frum people do not eat doughnuts, unless the doughnut is spongecake.

Nothing you can do on Chanukah, asides from making the women of the house light in a separate room, can be frum. If you want to come off at all religious, light at the front of your house, by the door. Even if you do not have to, it looks shtark (Yiddish for something, you heretic). Use oil if you can. That looks even shtarker (shtark means better, more zealous, or something in Yiddish- you none zealous candle lighting apikores).

If using candles, buy more than one box. I bought the box of 44 candles, because that is how many candles it takes to light on Chanukah. However, before I bought the box, I did not know that somebody’s job is to stand there in the factory and break half of them. I know that it looks better to light with oil; even so, it is a frum virtue to save money.

Do not try to compete with Chabad. Chabad has won the size competition. Chabad has the biggest Chanukiot. One year, I made one that was ten feet tall. The next year, Chabad had one 10 stories tall.

The rabbi was on a ladder extending off the fire truck. I then showed him my 12 foot shofar. The point is that the size of the Chanukiah does not matter. It used to matter, until Chabad squashed the competition. Now you need a city permit for fires greater than 30 feet hi.

Ways to make Chanukah more frum:

-Eat more oily food, without olive oil. Olive oil is too expensive. They don’t even use it in the frum popcorn in Meah Shearim. It must be fat from flanken meat. That is the kind of oil that stays in the stomach for 8 days.

-Don’t light candles. Light up the electric candles. This way it makes Chanukah look like a frum Yom Tuf, with some Yahrtzeit going on (Yahrtzeit is the celebration and remembrance day of somebody who passed away you non-Yom Tuf loving Hellenist, who calls holidays Yom Tov or Chag).

-Give the children bigger Kippahs.

-Light in the front of the house, on the street. That is a good way to look more frum. Put your Chanukiah out somewhere in the public domain.

Even so, you must stand there all night, till the oil stops burning, so that people know that you are the frum cat who brought the safety hazard to the children of the neighborhood.

Do not make the mistake that my friend Kakoo (Mikakel Kaleekaku- my friend who became religious and is afraid of saying Gd’s name in vain, you heretic who still calls him Michael Eliyahu), and carry the candles out from the house, to the street. First pick the spot and then light. This is also known as Pikuach Nefesh (making sure people don’t die, you blasphemetic heathen who enjoys this world). Asides from spilling the oil all over the stairs and not cleaning them up, because Kakoo has faith, he started a fire by the mailboxes.

-Say XMas. That is the most frum thing you can do on Chanukah is to call Christmas something else. If you use Yiddish, even better. You can call it Nitelnacht and you are set. A proud Yiddish speaking Jew who doesn’t even acknowledge XMas, or know what you just said.

-Eat spongecake, kichel and herring.

-Keep Shabbis.

-Gifts can be frum if they have very little entertainment value.

If you are buying gifts, leave out the thought. The thought counts for very little. Frum gifts are supposed to be purchased on sale. The only thought should be when the Christmas Tree Shop is having their end of season sale.

The only thing you can do to make Chanukah more of a religious friendly holiday is to pick up all gifts at the Dollar Store. Do not pay the tax, because then it is more than a dollar.

Last year I got a calendar from 2011. I can use it in 2023. There was a sale and I know that, because my aunt is frum and she would never buy me a gift retail. I checked it out and it was quite mind opening to find out that at the end of the year, calendars go on sale.

What kind of gift would David like for Chanukah? I always hear that it is the thought the counts. A piece of advice when giving me a gift, think a little more. Think real hard. What would David want?????? Money.

Maybe he didn’t buy the pasta pusher, because he didn’t want it. That has nothing to do with Frumkeit. That has to do with gifts that David would appreciate, such as cash. Total side point, but relevant to David’s life. You can make it relevant to your frum life, if the next time you pick up a gift you ask ‘What would David do?’

I know that many of you want to try to make it a frum Chag (holiday, you XMas saying turkey latke eating Hellenist), but don’t. It is not. You don’t say Chag Sameach, but Chanukah Sameach, for a reason. Even on a Chag, you would not say Chag. Never use the term chag. It is Yom Tuf.

There are some fun aspects to the holiday, so enjoy whatever you can, as you have to keep it anyways. Nonetheless, do not trust all the traditions. There is a tradition that you can’t put on weight on holidays. To my surprise, Sukkot last year, I put on 15 pounds. Chanukah, I put on 18 pounds. I think that tradition only works when you do not eat.

I noticed this year that people get very excited when Thanksgiving and Chanukah fall out at the same time, because both holidays have nothing to do with frumkite. However, Thanksgiving is a holiday which should not be taken for granted. Thanksgiving is a Jewish Holiday celebrated the last Friday night in November, with chicken. It is also traditional to use a stuffing, also known as kishka. And there is no way you can put on weight on Thanksgiving.

About the Author
David Kilimnick: Jerusalem's Comedian performs at his Off The Wall Comedy Basement- Jerusalem's first comedy club, every Thursday in English and every Wednesday in Hebrew, in downtown Jerusalem. David may also be contacted to perform for tour groups in Israel & Synagogue fundraisers around the world, and for your private parties. Contact: 972(50)875-5688 David Kilimnick, dubbed Israel's father of Anglo comedy by the Jerusalem Post, is leading the new pack of English-speaking stand-up comics in Israel . At his Off the Wall Comedy Basement club in Jerusalem (the first of its kind), Kilimnick has been offering up penetrating observations of life in his turbulent adopted country. Tourists and native Israelis alike have been flocking to his cozy, intimate club and raving about his unique ability to transform the daily chaos and aggravation of Israeli life into an evening full of laughter. Kilimnick's material covers the rocky transition from his "New York Cocoon" to his new life as an "Oleh Chadash" or Israeli newcomer. Still single, Kilimnick touches on his religious upbringing, his rabbinic insights, the injustices of Jewish grammar school and Jewish summer camp, and the looks he gets from his Jewish mother because he isn't married yet. Meanwhile, Kilimnick's universal humor takes you on a tour of funny through the Holy Land. Incorporating routines from his shows 'The Aliyah Monologues Classic 1 & 2','Find Me A Wife,' 'Frum From Birth: Religious Manifesto', his music show 'Avtala Band' & more, David Kilimnick justifies his Aliyah (move to Israel), while taking you through the reality of life as a single immigrant, Israel experiences, holidays & family left behind. You are sure to walk away entertained, enlightened, or with David. David has recently appeared on "Bip" Israel's comedy network, צחוק מעבודב and has been hailed by the tough Israeli media as a rising star who possesses Seinfeldian charm when he takes to the stage.
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