This week, we’re ringing in the Festival of Lights with a special episode filled with Unorthodox holiday cheer, Adam Sandler’s updated “Hanukkah Song,” and a whole lot of latkes.

We’re joined by Jewish competitive eater Don Moses Lerman, who holds the Major League Eating record for baked beans (six pounds in one minute and 48 seconds) and butter (seven quarter-pound sticks of salted butter in five minutes), and who once ate 150 jalapeno peppers in 15 minutes. He comes out of retirement to see how many Russ & Daughters potato latkes he can eat in five minutes on the air. (Spoiler alert: a lot.) Tablet’s Elissa Goldstein, an avowed latke skeptic, politely watches Lerman’s feat and then tells us what she really thinks about Hanukkah’s ubiquitous potato treats.

Tablet columnist Marjorie Ingall, who previously offered a crash course in pre-Yom Kippur apologies, stops by with some advice on how not to make Hanukkah all about the presents. She recommends giving the kids on your shopping list books and names a few of her favorite of this year’s children’s titles.

Tablet’s art director Esther Werdiger also returns this week with a tale of Hanukkah Down Under—where the holiday falls smack in the middle of summer. Growing up in Melbourne, she often celebrated Hanukkah at summer camp, and instead of snowflakes and fireplaces there were barbecues and beach parties.

We love to hear from you! Send Hanukkah wish lists and miracle requests to Unorthodox@tabletmag.com.

We’re recording a live episode on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Washington, D.C. JCC, in Washington, D.C. You can buy tickets here.





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