Nov 30, 2009

For Kurdistan Jews, Hanukkah is a Time to Reuse & Recycle

Author Tami Lehman-Wilzig was kind enough to share with us a Hanukkah tradition from Kurdistan. Tami writes about all kinds of multicultural Jewish holiday celebrations and customs at her blog. They are a great way to integrate new traidtions into your classroom or family. Thanks, Tami!

The three “Rs” – Reduce, Reuse & Recycle – have become today’s environmental mantra. As Westerners who really have it all, we never stop to think that there are Jews who don’t need the ecology cause to practice the “Reuse” principle. Take the Jews from Kurdistan and their charming, low budget way of shedding light on Hanukkah’s oil miracle. Kurdish Jews who could not afford a Hanukkiah used eggshells as cups for wicks and oil. There was no egg on anyone’s face because they didn’t have enough money. On the contrary. Eggs were eaten either for breakfast, lunch or dinner and the cracked egg shells were saved for lighting what I call the Eggnukia, every night. Tell your students to scramble home and try out this neat Hanukkiah alternative. Every which way, it gives the correct message – they’ll learn how to reuse and at the same time not take material goods for granted. If anything, maybe it will prompt them to start accumulating their own nest egg for next year’s Hanukkah presents.

For more Hanukkah customs, check out Tami's new book Hanukkah Around the World. Get a 20% discount on your order when you shop at and use the discount code TAMI when you check out. This offer is available until January 15, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen egg shells used before, but didn't realize it was done for economy's sake. I thought it was artsy! Either way, it's a beautiful idea.