Thanksgivukkah

As early as 1721, here in the U.S., thanks-giving celebrations were held in November. (Read more.) In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanks-giving to be held on the last Thursday of November. Subsequent Presidents followed his lead and in 1941 the U.S. Congress declared the 4th Thursday in November a legal holiday – Thanksgiving Day.

Around 164 B.C., in the land of Israel, an event (some say a miracle) occurred during the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem that gave rise to the annual Jewish Festival of Lights that runs for 8 days in the Hebrew month Kislev.

This year, 2013, these two celebrations coincide. A quick Google revealed:

  • The last time this happened was in 1888.
  • The next time will be…over 79,000 years from now – WOW.
  • It’s more complicated than 1888 and 79,000+.

The celebration of Thanksgiving is part of my tradition and history.  I am not Jewish and have never truly given thought to celebrating Hanukkah.

But, this year, I find myself intrigued by it.  There’s so much online about combining the two. There’s even a Facebook page devoted to it.

Tolerance, understanding, forbearance, harmony, fellowship, acceptance, cultural blending, peace…isn’t this what the world needs more of?

Some say yes.  Others say…not so fast.  For a less than mainstream take on Thanksgivukkah, check out No Thanksgivukkah by Allison Benedikt. It’s well worth the read.

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Hanukkah (Chanukah)! Happy Turkey Day! Happy Thanksgivukkah!

As much as it’s within your power, make it a good and happy day.

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