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Oy Hannukah!

By Susan Owensby

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the quiz about Hannukah. There’s musings on weather and flowers (why not?), some great music, and of course … the quiz. Just click on the arrow in the photo and enjoy!

Hello everyone!

Welcome to The Sound Kitchen. You can catch the programme on-the-air every Saturday at 6:15, 7:15, 14:45 and 16:45 universal time. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you have grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and tune in every Saturday.

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You can also hear our programs on WRMI (http://www.wrmi.net/) and WRN (http://www.wrn.org/listeners/). These broadcasters diffuse our programs out of the goodness of their hearts, but unless you tell us how you heard us, we have no way of knowing … so do write and tell us how you listen to us.

A hearty welcome to two new official RFI Listeners Clubs: the RFI Sungat Listeners Club with Malik Allah Bachaya Khokhar as president, in Muzaffargarh, Pakistan (the fourth club in that city! Thanks Muzaffargarh!), and the RFI Peace Fan Club in Bogra, Bangladesh. Dr Shahinur Alam is the president.

If you would like to create an official RFI club, or transform your existing listeners club into an RFI club, click on the link at the bottom of this page for information on how to get started.

This week’s quiz: On 31 December I asked you a question about the Jewish festival Hanukkah: you were to write in and tell me how many days and nights Hanukkah (or the Festival of Lights) is celebrated, and what it is about.

The answer is: Hannukah, which is a joyous festival for the Jewish community, runs eight days and nights. Every night the family gathers and lights a candle on the menorah ( a nine branched candelabrum – the highest candle, the ninth candle, is always lit) so by the last night all the candles are lit. The family recites or sings traditional blessings as they light the candles, and then the fun begins. Presents - every night! And dreidel games (a dreidel is a top), and wonderful special foods, mainly oily, because the Hannukah festival celebrates a miracle of oil.

The Jewish Maccabees rebelled and defeated the forces of Antiochus IV – the Greek king of the Seleucid Empire (Antiochus IV lived from 175 BCE until 164 BCE, to give you an idea of the time-line) - who was ruling over Judea. When the Maccabees won the rebellion and re-gained their Holy Temple, they discovered that almost all of the ritual olive oil had been profaned - oil which is needed to keep the menorah burning at all times in the Temple. They found only a single container of oil that was still sealed by the High Priest, and there was only enough oil to keep the menorah in the Temple lit for a single day. They used that oil, but the menorah miraculously burned for eight days - which is the time it took to have new oil pressed and made ready.

So the answer is: Hannukah lasts eight days and eight nights, and celebrates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple after the defeat of the Seleucid Empire, when a one-day supply of ritual olive oil burned for eight days.

The winners are: RFI Listeners Club member Jean-Maurice Devault from Montreal, Canada; Shehla Shahzad from the RFI Pak France International Listeners Club in Sahiwal, Pakistan; Abdikadir Elmi from Nairobi, Kenya; Tasneem Binte Saleh from Nilphamari, Bangladesh, and Sunilbaran Das, the president of the RFI Fan Club in Nadia, India.

Congratulations winners!

This week’s question ... you'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 3 April to enter this week's quiz. The winners will be announced on the 8 April program. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:



Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux


By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win an RFI wireless computer mouse click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club click here