“Bendigamos” is the Ladino version of the traditional HallelLit. “Praise” The Hallel prayers are additional prayers taken from Psalms 113-118 and are traditionally recited on the Jewish holidays of Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, Rosh Chodesh, and Hanukah. and is sung on the seventh night of HanukkahThe holiday which celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following its conquest by the Syrians in 165 BCE. The holiday is celebrated by lighting candles in a hanukiyah oon each of eight nights. Other customs include the eating of fried foods such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiot (jelly donuts), playing dreidl (a gambling game with a spinning top), and, in present day America, gift giving., which falls this year on Wednesday night, Dec. 16, 2020.
Hanukkah is the only Jewish festival whose holy day observance crosses two Hebrew months. It is the night when the Jewish month changes from Kislev to Tevet. This night also commemorates Rosh HodeshThe new moon, which marks the beginning of the Jewish month. According to tradition, because women did not participate in the sin of the golden calf, they were given the holiday of Rosh Chodesh. It is customary for women not to work on Rosh Chodesh. or “head of the month.”
It is traditional for women to celebrate this night with a Hag HaB’not, or “Festival of the Daughters,” a special celebration where women and girls are honored. While the Hanukkah candles burn, the women and girls relax as the men serve the snack – traditionally an artichoke, olive spread. And because it is Rosh Hodesh, the renewal of a new month begins with the eating of a spicy hard-boiled egg salad, similar to what we call “deviled eggs.”
In SephardicJews of Spanish descent; sometimes used to describe Jews of North-African and Middle-Eastern descent. The term also describes the customs and practices of these Jews, often in comparison to those of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews. or Spanish (Mediterranean) Jewish homes, the oldest woman in the family traditionally gives a gift of a piece of family jewelry to the youngest girl in the family. Over the years, this tradition has evolved to include a jewelry gift exchange among all the women and girls.
Hag Hanukkah Sameakh, Hag HaB’not Sameakh
It’s a beautiful song to sing together. The language is Ladino, which is a combination of Hebrew and Spanish, and it is the language of the Mediterranean and Mexican Jews, just as Yiddish is the language of the Jews of central and eastern Europe.
*Photo of Rabbi Barbara leading Hanukkah singing by Dominico Pulice.
Bendigamos al Altísimo
Bendigamos al Altísimo,
Al Señor que nos crió,
Por los bienes que nos dió.
Alabado sea Su Santo Nombre,
Porque siempre nos apiadó,
Odu Ladonai ki tov,
Ki leolam jasdo.
Blessed is the One most high,
The Lord who created us,
Let us give thanks
For all of the good things given us
Praised is His Holy Name
For He has always had mercy on us.
Blessed is the Lord for He is good,
For His mercy endures forever.
Mahalo. Thank-you. Toda Roba. For including Sefardic customs.