Hanukkah latkes (illustration)
Hanukkah latkes (illustration)Thinkstock

The 6th Annual Latke Festival in New York City was held this week in honor of Hanukkah, and to mark the Jewish holiday celebrating how the Maccabees defended Judaism from Greek occupiers - participants decided to submit non-kosher ham latke potato pancakes.

A total of 24 restaurants and vendors took part in the potato pancake competition reported the The Daily Beast on Wednesday. Their entries were less than traditional to say the least.

Veselka, a Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village, layered its latkes with pork goulash. Meanwhile Mokbar, a Korean restaurant located in Chelsea Market, made its entire latke out of pork.

At least Egg, from Brooklyn, warned that its country ham latkes were not kosher with a warning sign.

The choice of serving ham latkes is particularly poignant given that the Maccabees fought off the Syrian-Greeks after they outlawed Judaism, forcing Jews to break Torah law by such acts as eating pork and sacrificing pigs to the Greek gods.

Oily latkes are traditionally eaten on the holiday to mark the miracle the occurred when the Maccabees sanctified the Second Temple that had been desecrated by the Greeks, with the oil used to light the Temple menorah (candelabrum) miraculously lasting eight days instead of one.

In saving Judaism from oblivion, the Maccabees took up arms and despite being vastly outnumbered successfully ousted the Greeks, re-establishing the last fully independent Jewish state with the Hasmonean dynasty until the modern Jewish state of Israel was founded in 1948.