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In "The Book of Kashruth" by Rabbi Seymour Freedman, he writes on p. 117 that "On Chanukah..it is customary to eat potato pancakes called latkes....These are eaten to commemorate the dedication of the women in the towns, hamlets, and cities of Judea who shared in the battle for freedom in their own special way by providing the Maccabee guerilla fighters with batches of potato pancakes as their staple food....The methods of warfare employed by the Maccabees in many ways set the pattern of guerilla warfare employed by future freedom-fighters. The Maccabees lived in the forests and the mountain caves, which gave them excellent concealment, but made food very scarce for them. The women of Judea, therefore, hit on the idea of giving them the kind of food which could be quickly prepared, readily carried, and did not spoil easily, in addition to being satisfying. The potato pancake or latke was the solution to the Maccabee food problem. It has been enjoyed by generations of Jews ever since." Do any traditional sources mention the Maccabees eating potato latkes as a reason for our current custom of doing so on Chanukah? And if not, did Rabbi Freedman simply conjure this out of thin air, completely ignorant of the fact that potatoes are a New World crop and thus would not be available in Eretz Yisrael for almost 2000 years after the Maccabees lived?

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    I don't know this book, but is it possible that the author was joking?
    – Joel K
    Oct 15 '20 at 7:11
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    I suspect Rabbi Freedman simply conjured this out of thin air, completely ignorant of the fact that potatoes are a New World crop and thus would not be available in Eretz Yisrael for almost 2000 years after the Maccabees lived? Oct 15 '20 at 8:17
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    The words if valid must have meant something other than potatoes. Potatoes came from South America.
    – Perry Webb
    Oct 15 '20 at 9:18
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    A hundred years ago someone invented they played dreidel. Now they invented they ate latkes. In a hundred more years someone will invent the fact they had nightly parties of bittul Torah.
    – user6591
    Oct 15 '20 at 11:10
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    insults aside, in terms of dreidel, the fact that nun gimel heh shin stands for the German nisht (none), gantz (all), halb (half), shtell arein (put in), and was a German game called trendel (with admittedly earlier precursors), put together with only recent references to this practice and then basis, one need not be an apikores to believe that this is a late innovation, even if many "Torah Jews" believe the made-up story. For those who value masorah, they also oppose fictionalizing the masorah. That is an integral part of keeping the trust in the masorah, maintaining integrity. Oct 16 '20 at 12:08
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It's not Purim yet, but here is another account of this tale:

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