The Latkes’ Lament

Let’s hear it for the unsung hero of Chanukah: the crispy, fried potato pancake.
Photo courtesy of Two Lazy Gourmets. 
 
Though our relatives we let you eat
About us you folks complain,
That from each bite pimples erupt
And weight from us you gain.
 
Well, we think this all has to end
You are quite an ungrateful lot,
Our grandpa took the crunch last year
Did you care? You did not!
 
You leave us frying too long
And oh, this makes us mad,
You say we’re burnt like it’s our fault
And that we taste so bad!
 
Well first we have to tell you,
Quit being so malicious,
Never did a latke exist
That did not taste delicious!
 
We’re brought up from the frying pan
Knowing our impending fate,
A few small bites then we are gone
Our families mourn on your plate.
 
But as for that, no we don’t mind
We’re proud of our special task
To remind you all of days long gone —
Which days do we mean you ask?
 
Long ago, a perilous time
When keeping Torah was forbidden,
Despite this many kept their faith
They observed but kept it hidden.
 
However sadly many Jews
Who were then known as misyavnim,
Followed the Greeks in all their ways
A grievous most horrible sin.
 
A war was fought to save our souls
We were few, we’d never win
But God gave us a miracle.
Victory for the Maccabim!
 
While our soldiers were fighting the Greeks
Never admitting defeat,
The women prepared fried oily foods
For their husbands to eat.
 
That’s not the only reason though
That you sit crunching away,
Let’s not forget that one day’s worth
Of oil lasted eight days.
 
When the Jews came to the Temple
Making it pure and clean,
Of oil there was a shortage
Just one good jar was seen.
 
They lit the menorah for one day
Since that was all they could do,
But another nes, that little jar
Eight full days lasted through.
 
So here we are for eight full days
A reminder for all Jews
Of the many miracles with oil
Hashem performed for you.
 
Think of that every single time
You look at your reflection,
Forget the extra pounds and what
We do to your complexion.
 
We’re here to help, as a reminder
Of what was done for you,
So for just eight days crunch away
(Besides, we taste good too!)
 
author's bio: 
Chayala Nachum is a junior at Bais Yaakov Academy in Brooklyn.