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The power of Chanukah doughnuts

Friday, 9 December, 2011 - 2:46 pm

December 2003. Our first Chanukah in Victoria, Chani, planned a women's and girls' evening of making Sufganiyot (Chanukah doughnuts). Hours before the event the phone was ringing, "can men come too?"

"It is really an event for women" I said "but if you are very interested perhaps we can work something out"...

"I'll tell you the truth", he said. "I'm not so interested in making a doughnut, as I am in eating one... I'm an Israeli student studying in a college in Manitoba; I decided to take the bus on winter break back west, to get a bit warmer.... When I arrived at the motel and checked the local newspaper, I saw you are hosting this Sufganiyot making evening, growing up in Israel I was just 'dying' to have one..."

Later that evening the young man was in our home. He didn’t only have a doughnut, he lit a Menorah, sang songs and we had a wonderful Chanukah together. "You know what" he said "I think it wasn't the doughnut that I was craving; it was to the feeling of home I was longing for, to be back with my people... I never knew I would miss it so badly. I thought I came back west because I was physically cold, I was wrong. It was my soul who needed to warm up..."

Walking on Fort Street 5 years later, a car stopped next to me, "Shabbat Shalom!" the man said, I turned my head and I immediately recognized him. "Are you the student from Manitoba who came to us on Chanukah?" he was shocked "Are you the Rabbi who I spent that night with?"....

We have kept in touch since, many times he tells me that Chanukah evening reminded him that you can never run away from yourself, you can never escape your soul.

Do you have any better example of "the way to a man's (Jewish) heart is through his stomach"?...

Comments on: The power of Chanukah doughnuts

Liz wrote...

What a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing your experience!