Amazon’s Alexa and I have come a long way since I first welcomed her into my life a few years ago. Though we didn’t really get along at first, we’ve spent many moons together, and have built such a close-knit relationship that we’re practically siblings.
As siblings do, Alexa often tests my patience, especially when she pronounces my name incorrectly (it’s Arrrrielle like a pirate, Alexa, not the “airy” mermaid!). But she also tests my knowledge with daily trivia questions—something I truly enjoy—so this Hanukkah I decided to flip the script.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that she brushed up on her Jewish knowledge. Not only does Alexa really know the history of Hanukkah, she even blessed me with 18 jokes. How Jew-y of her!
I definitely wouldn’t trust Alexa to educate your children on the story of Passover, but between explaining the miracle of Hanukkah and how to play dreidel, she sure knows her Hanukkah facts. For a brief history lesson on one of the least important Jewish holidays, have you or your kids ask Alexa these questions—she’ll treat you to concise and accurate answers.
What are the Hanukkah prayers?
Who are the Maccabees?
What is the miracle of the oil?
What’s a dreidel?
What do we eat on Hanukkah?
Why do we eat fried food on Hanukkah?
How do you spell Hanukkah?
Who is the hero of the Hanukkah story?
Who is Judah Maccabee?
I applaud my girl Alexa for her research skills, festivity, and for her quirky answer to who the hero of Hanukkah is: Judah Maccabee is the hero of the Hanukkah story, so go ahead and workout like a Maccabee.
And now, for the fun stuff: Hanukkah jokes! Ask Alexa for Passover jokes and she’ll tell you she doesn’t have any. Ask her for Hanukkah jokes, however, and she’ll tell you some pretty quality ones. (Note: I asked Alexa to “tell me a Hanukkah joke” 18 times before she began repeating herself.)
Q: What happened when the jelly donut crossed the road?
A: It caused a traffic jam.
Q: Where’s Hanukkah gelt created?
A: At the chocolate mint.
Q: What’s the most confusing part of Hanukkah?
A: Trying to figure out how to spell Hanukkah.
Q: What do you call Hanukkah gelt that you gamble with?
A: Chocolate chips.
Q: Where do you get honey for your latkes?
A: From the Maccabees.
Q: Did you hear about the two dreidels that fell in love?
A: They met at a spin class.
Q: What’s the best latke topping?
A: Another latke.
Q: Why did the latke cross the road?
A: To get to the other chives.
Q: What’s the best thing about Hanukkah?
A: If you give a gift someone doesn’t like, you have seven nights to try again.
Q: Which toy has the best rhymes?
A: Doctor dreidel.
Q: What did the salt say to the bread?
A: When you need me, just challah.
Q: What’s the best part of Hanukkah?
A: No ugly Christmas sweaters.
Q: What’s a fun family movie to watch on Hanukkah?
A: Shalom Alone.
Q: How did the dreidel feel about calling in sick?
A: He felt a little gelty.
Happy Hanukkah from Kiddish. Alexa, and me!
Airelle Kaplan is a contributing writer to Kveller and Kiddish magazine.