Put on Your Yarmulke, It’s Time to Celebrate Hanukkah 

Tonight is the beginning of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, otherwise known as the festival of lights. We’re living in crazy times, with some trying to cancel menorah lighting and giving into a pro-Hamas mob mentality. At the same time, Christmas celebrations are also being canceled and disrupted. We let the bad guys win if we cancel these celebrations. Let’s stick together and show the world that we stand with good. To do this, light up your home for Christmas and Hanukkah with decorations for both holidays. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish, put up a menorah, and while enjoying all of the Christmas movies at this time of year, watch a couple of Hanukkah movies for fun. Just enjoy it. For those of you who are Jewish, you know what to do. Keep reading for those of you who are Jewish and want to know about Hanukkah movies. For those of you who aren’t Jewish but want to get in on the action, this article is for you. This is your non-religious guide to Hanukkah, what it’s about, and how to celebrate it. 

Happy Hanukkah
Happy Hanukkah!

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Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that lasts for eight days and nights. It commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days, even though there was only enough oil for one day. During Hanukkah, families light a candle on a special candelabra called a menorah. Other traditions include playing with a spinning top called a dreidel, eating fried foods like latkes (potato pancakes) and jelly-filled doughnuts, and exchanging gifts. 

Hanukkah is a fun holiday with a confusing name. There are sixteen common spellings for this holiday. I have not committed to one spelling, but Hanukkah feels right this year. Other common spellings are Chanukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, and Hanukah. 

Every year on Hanukkah, no joke, I play Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah songs because I get a kick out of it. There are three well-known Adam Sandler Hanukkah songs: “The Chanukah Song” (1994), “Part II” (1999), and “Part III” (2002). These comedic songs celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah by listing famous Jewish celebrities and poking fun at the lack of Hanukkah-themed songs in popular culture. Each song has unique lyrics, but they’re just funny and much more catchy than the dreidel song.

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While eating jelly donuts and latkes, anyone can enjoy some delightful Hanukkah movies. Here are some to get you started, but there’s a lot more. 

The Night Before (2015) is a good starter movie because it’s a Christmas movie. I found the film so funny that I saw it twice when it was first in theaters. It’s about three friends from childhood and a crazy “one last Christmas party.” What makes it Hanukkah-ish? Seth Rogan is a Jewish friend who proudly and unapologetically wears a Star of David Hanukkah sweater throughout the movie. The movie is just laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a must-see, but please note it’s not for kids. 

An American Pickle 2020 is a feel-good Jewish movie with Seth Rogan. In this one, Rogan plays two roles. It starts a hundred years earlier, with him as Herschel Greenbaum in a pickle factory. In an unfortunate turn of events, he gets pickled and preserved for a hundred years, and when he comes back, he meets a future relative, also played by Seth Rogan. It’s funny. It’s cute. It shows how life changes in a century. It’s not about Hanukkah at all, but it is Jewish, and it works. Any Seth Rogan movie works for Hanukkah.

Eight Crazy Nights (2002) is an animated comedy with Adam Sandler that came about because of my favorite Hanukkah song. It’s silly. It’s stupid. Give it a shot, but note that it’s another one that is not for kids. 

An American Tail (1986) is an adorable, animated movie that starts on the first night of Hanukkah. You’ll love little mouse Fievel and his adventure to America. Fun for the whole family. 

Tradition is essential, and nothing demonstrates that better than the 1971 movie Fiddler on the Ruth and 1983’s Yentl. These are more serious movies, and both are excellent. If you want to stream a superb series, watch Holocaust with a young Meryl Streep. Again, they have nothing to do with Hanukkah, but they’re all Jewish and good enough.

Hallmark, Lifetime, Hulu, Prime, and Netflix finally got in on Hanukkah. It’s not a long list of movies, but the good news is that you can watch all of them if you feel like it. Here are some options. Hallmark has Double Holiday, Holiday Date, Love, Lights, Hanukkah!, and the Eight Nights of Hanukkah. Hulu has Menorah in the Middle. Prime has Hanukkah on Rye. I’m a fan of the nothing to do with Hanukkah and not family-friendly Inglorious Basterds, which can be streamed on Netflix. 

Hanukkah is unique because, like any great holiday, it’s meant to be enjoyed with loved ones, and as long as you’re doing that, you’re getting it right. From all of us at Florida Jolt, Happy Hanukkah and Happy JoltNukkah.

Other stories you may want to read:

Florida School Board Hammered Over ‘Palestinian’ Propaganda Video

Tracy Caruso: We Must Support Israel and Wipe Out Hamas

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