Some years, my early December birthday overlaps with Chanukah (don't worry about the English spelling - there's no right or wrong); and this is just such a year. My daughter immediately makes the connection, as soon as I mention the fact. "Abba'chka, can we have sufganiyot to celebrate your birthday this year? Hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray!" Sufganiyot? Sure, I figured you'd ask. Essentially, they are donuts, fried in oil, as all traditional Chanukah foods are; but in Israel - sufganiyot are a -major- cultural phenomenon. Every bakery strives to outdo itself and its competitors every year with sundry decadent, colorful sufganiyot flavors; they literally produce -menus- to guide customers through shelves covered in donut rainbows. Throughout much of the Western world, including the USA - where I grew up - Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, nativity scenes are everywhere in the winter season; chicks, eggs, bunny rabbits are ubiquitous during Easter... Whereas here, in Israel, the world's one Jewish state, I see Jewish, rather than Christian, holiday symbols in shop windows, lining the streets, covering the walls of our public schools. Home; Israel is simply home. It's the one place in the whole world where it's entirely natural to be Jewish; I can appreciate this so much because I'm intimately familiar with the diaspora. Here, Jewish life is dynamic and alive; vibrant and colorful - not unlike the sufganiyot my daughter has been salivating over (they're already being sold, weeks before Chanukah begins, but I won't tell her that). My child does not appreciate Israel, due, in part, to tender age (only natural); but also perspective - she has nary a concept of being a religious minority (only natural). Of course(!) there will be sufganiyot at every corner during Chanukah - duh! She's already wondering what new flavors they'll have this year. "Yes, Dear, of course we will - we'll go together to the bakery to pick some out!" And I think to myself -once again- that -I- could have been her if my parents hadn't decided to move our family to America.
d’Verse Poetics Prompt:
‘Epiphany in the Time of Holiday’
At d’Verse, poets were invited to imagine a moment of pausing, a still point of epiphany this holiday season. You may write using any poetic form, whatever suits. What would having an epiphany during this holiday season look like for you (or someone you know or imagine)?
Let’s write poetry together!
When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.–Ben Harper (b. 1969)
Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!
65 thoughts on “Sufganiyot, or: Donuts”
I love how you use the sufganiyot to set up a comparison between two perspectives, that of your daughter who has known nothing but:
place in the whole world where it’s entirely
natural to be Jewish;’
And you who have lived for a long time as part of a minority. I can only identify in terms of having lived as a ‘foreigner’ for many years – there is something very comforting in coming home.
😍 Ingrid 😍 – yep. And while I am happy for others when they celebrate their cultural and religious events, it’s incredibly cozy to live in a place where my traditions are mainstream.
This is a wonderful write, David. 🙂
💝 Aishwarya 💝 – thank you!
You are welcome, David . 🙂
trees, Santa Clauses, nativity scenes are everywhere
in the winter season; chicks, eggs,
bunny rabbits are ubiquitous during Easter…
And they keep bringing them onto the shelves earlier and earlier since the average pagan has no concept of the liturgical Calendar. The problem is that both Feast Days have lost their true meaning and become excuses for toothe decay. – On another note we do make up special baskets of tiny eggs up with religious symbolism to give out to the children at church on Easter day. Best of both worlds? The original reason for ‘EGGS’ ( real hardboiled and decorated) is that in the Orthodox church most people do not eat protein on the week days of Lent- the eggs are given out as the first Protein breaking the fast of Lent
I did not know that! Thank you for teaching me 😀
That’s okay,every sacrilege has a sacred beginning,speaking of religion.
such a lovely narrative and memory shared.. Happy almost birthday and Hanukah David. Please send one air mail.. they look delicious. 💖
💙 Cindy 💙 – thanks so much!
you’re so welcome dear David.
and to you my friend💖
David, my goodness, your life is a good novel, and I’m sure your opinions on America would be well worth listening to. Odd you lived in the midwest, not NYC or LA. Atypical, and more interesting.
Most of my life in the USA was in New Jersey.
I only lived in the Midwest until age 7… and then again for 4 years during college.
Someone said that if you travel north, you’ll regret the things you might have experienced in the south. If you go south, you’ll have even more regrets. We are where we are, and there are rewards in (nearly) any direction.
There’s an ‘American Sentence’ in there somewhere, Shay 🙂 – I’ll have to work on it.
I’m getting hungry looking at the picture of the donuts 🙂
💜 Rhonda 💜 – it’s right around the corner!
The exuberance of youth tempered by the awareness of parenthood! Loved the way this one unfolded! The photo just screamed “calories” and my pancreas was spasming!! hehe!
🧡 Muri 🧡 – yeah… Chanukah is not a healthy holiday at all!
I don’t like sufganiyot, but I do like Chanukah, Israel, and your poem!
🤎 JYP 🤎 – there’s no accounting for good taste!
David, your Epiphany Essence Exposed. Nicely written!
💛 David 💛 – you’re kind.
David, this one hit home. That insider/outsider dichotomy is something I can relate to, and it leads to moments spurred by simple things, like fried donuts instead of Santa Claus chocolates. In a way, we relive our lives through our children, their perspectives from vantages we never had transforming our own. I like the way you bring that out in a quiet turning inward as you wonder out loud.
🤍 Dora 🤍 – thank you for the terrific prompt, as well as your kindness and empathy.
what a delightful narrative – the voice of the father – sounds almost (almost!) beyond your years. And the fluidity of the identity flows through the text. 🙂
does it? thanks, ❤ Barbara ❤