From its outset, the Torah posits an ongoing tension between two imperatives - the universal and the particular: The God of Israel is the God of all humanity, so morality transcends nationality, but Jews have additional obligations they are commanded to keep.
Interweaving two holidays helps us examine what it means to come together. How does a national story converge with a minority's perseverance? How do we unite while not disappearing into a single narrative of the dominant?
On Hanukkah we wish one another, Hanukkah same'ah! 'Happy Hanukkah!' Because it's a celebration, a remembrance of something good, a time in our mythic past when our ancestors saw miracles . . . and needed them.
To squeeze everything we can out of this big opportunity, here are a few ways to make your Thanksgiving/ Hanukkah mash up a "Channu-copia" of great-tasting fun!
Maybe, after all, there was a deep inner connection. Certainly, Hanukkah never belonged with Christmas. Perhaps the Messiah has been waiting for just this astrological conjunction.
There are becoming more and more opportunities to help people all over the world -- without even leaving your home or spending any extra money. And even better, you know exactly how your donation is helping.
If it's a good squishy loaf, I can eat it all in one sitting. And, please, hold the crust.
I spent most of my childhood in rural Ohio where there were few Jews and where people presumed I was Christian each Christmas. Everyone said "Merry Christmas." Inwardly, I flinched. Outwardly, I usually smiled back and parroted the same holiday greeting.
For Jews in the U.S., this presents the need for a serious reordering of brain cells. Hanukkah (literal translation: The Holiday We Get, Because Everyone Else gets Christmas) has, for thousands of years (a really long time, to be exact) made sure it occurred as close to Christmas as possible.
When is Christmas? Boo, gobble gobble, and ho, ho, ho. Toto, I'm not in Kansas anymore. Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas -- when did these three, which each used to dominate its own month, morph into what's known as the "holiday season"?
is to experience them at the same time, at the same feast nonetheless, it's actually a wonderful realization that they are not mutually exclusive. Indeed Chanukah and Thanksgiving are necessary opposites complimenting, not contradicting, one another.
As a writer and speaker on parenting and the "tech and respect" movement, this is the core question I hear over and over again: "Is my child ready?"
Holidays are stressful in general. And so is divorce. Combining them can be the final straw that pushes some people into depression. If this is your holiday experience, get the support you need to make it through but don't be too alarmed. It's par for the course and next year's holiday season will be much easier.
A child that is happy with himself or herself will be happy to be remembered. You don't need to stress about numbers or prices. You simply need to let your child know that he or she has the greatest gift of all... your love!
Due to the funky mathematics of the Hebrew and secular calendars, this holiday blend has never happened before, and won't happen again for some 77,000 years. Like true love, it appears Thanksgivukkah only comes around once in a lifetime.
I'm not sure what my father and grandfather would make of Thanksgivukkah, this once in a century, possibly once in a millennium holiday. They may have thought the whole idea was kitsch. Certainly the name is as cumbersome as their Judaism was to them.