On Monday, my brother and I donated oil. No, not heating oil, which would be useful for warming up a person’s home in the cold winter months. And, no, we did not donate motor oil, which is used for transportation. We donated vegetable oil.
You may wonder why we would pick this type of oil donation. We picked it because there was a cooking oil drive at my Hebrew school. The reason the synagogue is collecting cooking oil is because it’s the holiday of Hanukkah. My synagogue donates all the bottles of oil to an organization called Selfhelp Community Services, which helps over a thousand seniors live independent lives.
Many of these seniors are on tight budgets, so they may not be able to afford cooking oil to make potato latkes. If you don’t know what a latke is, it’s a fried potato pancake. Jews eat this food on Hanukkah because they are supposed to eat fried foods to celebrate the fact that the oil that was supposed to last only one night during the rededication of the Temple lasted eight days.
It makes me feel good to be able to help others celebrate one of my favorite holidays. I love latkes with nothing on them, and hope others are able to use our donated oil to enjoy latkes, too. Happy Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends.