The Jerusalem Post's Hanukka survival guide

It’s best to limit yourself to only one or two mini-doughnuts or -- even better -- to share them with a partner.

December 1, 2015 17:55
1 minute read.

Netanyahu at Hanukka candle lighting ceremony at Western Wall. (photo credit: YONATAN ZINDEL/POOL)


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Even before Hanukka begins on Sunday night, safety experts are urging adults to supervise their children to avoid burns, fires, swallowing of foreign objects and other accidents that are common on the holiday.

Prof. Yehezkel Weissman, head of the urgent-care department of Schneider’s Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva, said on Tuesday that the biggest dangers of the holiday include the use of fire and boiling oil. Children up to the age of nine (some advise as old at 14) should not be allowed to light candles alone – only with their parents helping them.

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Make sure that flammable clothing, especially dangling sleeves, and long hair are kept away from the fire, he said. Place hanukkiot on a non-flammable tray or aluminum foil to separate them from the table or a tablecloth. Also keep them away from drapes. Don’t leave candles unsupervised or leave the house with them burning in an unsafe place. Keep matches and lighters out of the children’s reach. Also do not give them small toys, such as tops, so they don’t swallow them. Don’t leave candelabras exposed to a breeze, which can cause the candles to fall and ignite a fire.

Do not allow young children to fry Hanukka doughnuts or potato pancakes (latkes) alone or let them get near the burners and hot pans, said Weissman.

In the event of a skin burn, wash it immediately with cold running water for several minutes, bandage it with a sterile bandage or clean, wet piece of cloth and go to the doctor. If it’s painful, give the appropriate dose of paracetamol or other permissible analgesics.

Dafna Ziv-Bosani, a clinical dietitian at Schneider, advised not overdoing it on the doughnuts or other fried foods. One standard jelly-filled doughnut has 350 to 450 calories, and the fancier ones are even more fattening.

Latkes have about 150-200 calories, or the same amount as two slices of bread.


To make the holiday treat slightly healthier, try putting grated carrot, squash or other low-calorie vegetables in the mixture.

Explain to children that throughout the year, they should ideally eat vegetables that have a total of five colors to get a maximum of nutrients.

Instead of frying with oil – a tradition on Hanukka – one can put olive or other healthful oils as part of a dressing on a fresh salad.

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