Woody Allen in Annie Hall (or maybe Manhattan) asks in a sing-song Talmudic voice “Why do we at Matzo on Pesach?” The same can be asked of doughnuts on Chanuka.
On Tuesday nite the SD went to a class given by Rabbi Prager of the West Side Kollel. He explained why we eat donuts on chanuka. According to Jewish law we are required to increase our food or eating on Chanuka. We are not necessarily commanded to eat a Seuda like on Purim, rather just eat more goodies. Eating snacks requires Al Hamichya-blessing after snacks.
Interestingly, in the prayer after eating a snack”Al hamichya”, the prayer mentions the Mizbeach (altar) We know according to Rabbi Prager that on Chanuka the Temple and Mizbaeach (Altar) were rededicated after the Greeks desecrated the Temple. In order to rededicate the altar, they poured OIL over it. Therfore, for rededication of the altar and the oil, we remember the Mizbeach in Al Hamichya… and eat dougnuts. We eat the doughnuts, filled with oil and say the Al Hamichya and re-dedicate the temple.
What could be better than doughnuts. What a mitzva. We eat doughnuts and remember the rededication of the temple and then thank Hashem for the great food.