The “Big Bang Theory” actress and Hanukkah ambassador Mayim Bialik is out with a new YouTube video breaking down myths and facts about the holiday of lights.
Bialik, known for her role as Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler on “The Big Bang Theory” as well as her outspoken comments on Orthodox Judaism and parenting, released her latest video this past Thursday. As of late Monday, the video garnered over 5.2 million views on Bialik’s Facebook page, over 80,000 shares and 4,400 comments from Jews and non-Jews alike.
The often controversial Bialik reached stardom with her role as a child star in the 90s series “Blossom.” Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience, has become a controversial face of the “anti-vaccination” movement, though she claims to vaccinate her own children.
She most recently received backlash for a New York Times op-ed published in October arguing that dressing and behaving modestly will protect women from sexual harassment. She later apologized, saying she was sorry the article was received as “victim blaming.”
On a more cheerful note, flanked in festive Hanukkah attire and armed with plenty of props, Bialik sets out to answer common misconceptions about one of the most visible Jewish holidays in just under five minutes.
Question one: Hanukkah is Jewish Christmas. (Alright, that’s more of a statement, but we’re guessing these are true/false questions.)
“False!” Bialik says, quickly giving the answer away. “Since Hanukkah tends to fall around Christmas a lot of people think that it’s the Jewish equivalent of Christmas — and it is a holiday with Jewish rituals and traditions, but it’s actually not Jewish Christmas.” Bialik then goes into the stories and traditions of each distinct holiday.
Another misconception Bialik takes down is that Hanukkah is a major holiday. In fact she says, Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday, albeit culturally very popular, allowing religiously observant Jews to work and use electricity. “Whoo, minor holiday!” she exclaims.
Thought Hanukkah was all about the presents? Also false. Pajamas, calendars, stickers, socks, chocolate coins and spinning tops are all fair game for gifts but it’s about so much more than presents.
“It’s about finding light in darkness, about facing adversity, it’s about fighting for what you believe,” Bialik explains. These are the real presents of Hanukkah.”
What is true, Bialik says, is that Jews do spend eight days eating crazy unhealthy food.
“Because the story of Hanukkah revolves around oil we basically eats tons of food fried in oil,” like potato pancakes known as latkes, Bialik says.
The star revealed that her family enjoys their potato latkes with ketchup, a bold break away from popular latke accompaniments like applesauce and sour cream.
She also let slip that this year her birthday falls on December 12, the first night of Hanukkah. She turns 42.