Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Elf on the Shelf’s new friend is perfect for Jewish kids (PHOTOS)

Amy Boshnack

As moms pull out their Elf on the Shelf this weekend (traditionally, they come out Thanksgiving weekend), Jewish kids all over no longer need to be envious of yet another Christmas tradition they don’t get to partake in.

Let me introduce to you Maccabee on the Mantel. My kids have named him Bob.

This new toy (hoping to become your newest holiday tradition) comes in a keepsake box with a doll and a book. The book explains a little about Hanukkah and what a Maccabee is — the word literally means “hammer” — and describes in kid-friendly terms how the Maccabees (soldiers) helped the Jewish people fight for religious freedom.

Contrary to the Elf that can’t be touched, or he will lose his magical power to report back to Santa on whether or not your kiddies are being naughty, this little guy can be snuggled and taken all around town.

My kids are a little older, but they had a lot of fun finding our Maccabee in interesting situations — so much fun, in fact, that when I suggested donating the book and doll to our synagogue, I got looks of outrage from my 8-year-old. Here are some of the places Bob ended up during his stay with us:

1. It’s not a Sunday morning without bagels.

Maccabee on the Mantel: 1

2. That’s actually a menorah we got as a wedding gift from my mother-in-law. Bob loved it.

Maccabee on the Mantel 2

3. I don’t care how long you’ve been playing the dreidel game. Another year rolls around, and you know you’re looking up which letter gives you half the pot and which allows you to take all!

Maccabee on the Mantel 3

4. Bob found some friends to play with… and the lucky little guy kept landing on Gimel.

Maccabee on the Mantel 4

5. Grandpa cuts the challah while our Maccabee looks on.

Maccabee on the Mantel 5

6. Chatting on the phone.

Maccabee on the Mantel 6

7. Sitting on top of a very ’80s Bar Mitzvah sign-in board.

Maccabee on the Mantel 7

8. Will you just taste the soup!

Maccabee on the Mantel 8

9. Even the Maccabee recognizes the importance of adding money to our tzedakah box.

Maccabee on the Mantel 9

10. Not sure how he ended up there. I think he must also have an unhealthy love for Sharknado.

Maccabee on the Mantel 10

11. It’s not Hanukkah without piles of Hanukkah gelt.

Maccabee on the Mantel 11

12. Bob the Maccabee and Reggie the Labradoodle got along great. He even taught our pup a few new tricks.

Maccabee on the Mantel 12

13. Roxie the Lab/Hound mix, on the other hand, wanted to eat poor Bob. Luckily, he was nice and secure in her Hanukkah bandanna.

Maccabee on the Mantel 13

14. It’s not a Jewish holiday without some good ol’ Manischewitz.

Maccabee on the Mantel 14

15. Very good reading!

Maccabee on the Mantel 15

16. “Taxi!”

Maccabee on the Mantel 16

17. Bob came to work and got to taste-test some delicious Hunger Games: Mockingjay cookies.

Maccabee on the Mantel 17

18. And we took his portrait.

Maccabee on the Mantel 18

19. Back at home, our Maccabee is sneaky and liked to spy on the kids from high up.

Maccabee on the Mantel 19

20. And he liked hanging with the ladies after the kids went to bed…

Maccabee on the Mantel 20

21. Thinking about his waistline around the holidays, he made sure to have some of this green smoothie.

Maccabee on the Mantel 21

22. Hanging on the stairs with his mini-Torah in hand.

Maccabee on the Mantel 22

23. Time for Grandma to swipe some more Sweet’N Low from the local diner…

Maccabee on the Mantel 23

24. Woohoo! His first subway ride!

Maccabee on the Mantel 24

25. Getting a cuddle in with some cat friends. They were much calmer than the dogs.

Maccabee on the Mantel 25

26. So this is where they keep the good wine. Never having that Manischewitz crap again!

Maccabee on the Mantel 26

27. Smile for our Maccabee.

Maccabee takes photos

28. Friday night services at temple with the family. Life is good, folks. Life is good.

Maccabee on the Mantel 28

Happy Hanukkah!

Leave a Comment