My Uncle Cy died a couple of years ago - he was Jewish. I always liked Uncle Cy. He was a character who was larger than life, I always felt that he had a good heart, and he was always really good to me. One of my favorite memories of Uncle Cy was a conversation I overheard him having with Mrs. TBF...
Mrs. TBF: "Cy, do you like basketball?"
Uncle Cy: "Of course I like basketball...I'm Jewish!!!"
As a tribute to Uncle Cy, I decided that I would light a menorah every year during Hanukkah in his memory. The problem is: I don't really know what I'm doing.
Last year, when I was in Chicago, I bought a menorah and Hanukkah candles at (of all places) Pier 1 Imports. I gotta tell ya, I looked all over for the menorah. Finally, a saleslady at Marshall Field's called her friend at Pier 1 who told her that they had them in stock.
I ended up going to the Pier 1 by my sister's house with my sister and mom. Here we were, three Nordic looking people buying stuff for Hanukkah at a Pier 1 in suburban Chicago. It was kind of strange. I'll tell you right now - there aren't many Jews in Finland. Oy vey!! Anyway, I ended up schlepping the stuff back to Switzerland.
After unpacking, I set up the menorah in a place of honor in our dining room, opened the box of blue and white candles, and then realized that I had no idea what to do. I checked out the internet, but I could only find partial answers to my questions. I ended up winging it last year, but this year I want to do it right! So here are my questions...
1. I understand about using the center candle to light the candles that you add daily, and you work backwards always lighting the most recent candle first. But, what's the deal with the blue and white candles? What goes where?
2. Do you burn the candles all the way down each night?
3. I see that Hanukkah is on December 26th this year, but when do I begin lighting the candles...eight days before?
Just for the record, I asked one of Cy's sons last year and he said he didn't really remember and that he'd get back to me. I'm still waiting... Maybe my dad is right and my cousins ARE 51% Finnish.
I'm beginning to schvitz here! HELP!