Friday, January 11, 2013

Isn't There Some Jewish Holiday This Week?

In discussing Hanukkah, a friend recently noted (with approval) that Judaism seems to have quite a lot of holidays. "We only really have Christmas and Easter," she said, almost longingly. I smiled. "Well, ours are pretty much all crammed into September." I was thinking back on my first month in Edinburgh, with Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and several Shabbat dinners undoubtedly leading my flatmates to believe I was some kind of religious zealot. (When Simchat Torah rolled around a few days later, I munched my candied apple discreetly.) But on my way home from that conversation, I thought about what I had said. Were our holidays really all in September? Because Hanukkah obviously isn't. Neither is Passover. Nor Purim. I began to make a list.

(From right to left:) Rosh Hashanah, Simchat Torah, Sukkot (x2)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Europe, in Maps and Photographs

If your geography is anything like mine, the most you know about Europe is that it's across the ocean to the right. Prior to this semester, I would not have been able to locate the Netherlands, place Scotland in the United Kingdom, or determine whether Paris or Madrid was closer to London. Thanks to a bit of European travel, some of these deficiencies have been remedied. I will take this opportunity both to show off my favorite photos from my semester abroad, and to improve American terrestrial literacy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One Latke, Two Latke; Green Latke, Blue Latke

For those unfamiliar with the Hanukkah treat, a latke is a "potato pancake", a food fried in oil to celebrate the burning of oil in the holiday story. It's made of potatoes and onions, primarily. Since I was away for Hanukkah, it only made sense to have a belated latke-making event once I got back home. My dad left us the recipe, and we got cooking. And then, we found the food dye...