Archive for November 26th, 2013

ThanksgivukkahThursday is our traditional Thanksgiving holiday.  But this year Thursday is also the first day of Hanukkah, the eight day Jewish holiday also known as the Festival of Lights.  The holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.  The eight  days of  Hanukkah refer to the purifying ritual of that took place in the Temple after their victory.  Because the Temple had been defiled by foreign gods, it was determined that it must be purified by the burning of  ritual oil in its menorah.  They discovered that there was only enough oil for one day but lit it anyway.  It burned for the required eight days which was considered miraculous and gave rise to the Hanukkah celebration.

This is the third time the two holiday have converged since President Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a holiday here in 1863.  The first two times, 1888 and 1899, occurred before the current laws which dictate that Thanksgiving fall on the fourth Thursday of November.  This is the first time since the law went into effect and will the last time the two holidays fall simultaneously until the year 79811, as calculated by a physicist with some extra time on his hands.

This convergence has been dubbed Thansgivukkah.  Kind of catchy, huh?  I don’t know that there is any real significance here but it sure sounds ominous  (and kind of cool) when you throw in the fact that it won’t happen again for another 77,ooo years or so.  And anytime you get to throw around a portmanteau like Thanksgivukkah, it’s got to be good.  So enjoy your Thanksgivukkah, whether you’re thinking about the Pilgrims or the Maccabees.

Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at this rare holiday with The  Thanksgivukkah Anthem from the Jewish a cappella group Six13.  Kind of kitschy fun…

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