The holiday buzz this year is around the convergence of two holidays – Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. This won’t take place again for another 79,000 years! On Thursday November 28, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlap for the first time since 1888. Dana Gitell decided to capitalize on this by making up Thanksgivukah with a registered domain, Twitter account, and a Facebook page.
I recently read something in the Huffington Post:
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman wrote on the website Chabad.org:
Thanksgiving is “a narrative about an arduous journey to escape religious persecution for freedom in a new land, the establishment of a democratic charter and the sense of Divine providence that carried those refugees through their plight.”
“That’s Chanukah, as well,” Freeman continued. “A narrative deeply embedded in the collective Jewish psyche of how we fought back against religious oppression in our own land, earned our freedom and thanked G‑d for the miracles.”
The miracle of Hanukkah is set in the 2nd century B.C., when a small band of Jews, the Maccabees, triumphed over the forces of King Antiochus IV.
As the Maccabees rededicated the desecrated Temple in Jerusalem, a small quantity of oil, enough to last for only one day, miraculously burned for eight, which is why Jews light the candles on the menorah for eight nights.
The quirk of Thanksgivukkah is that the Hebrew calendar, which follows the sun and the moon, and the Gregorian calendar, where Thanksgiving sits on the fourth Thursday of November, has aligned this year so that the two holidays are on the same day for the first time since 1888, 25 years after President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a holiday.
For many Jews, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are a much better fit than the holiday Hanukkah often coincides with: Christmas. The somewhat tongue-in-cheek term “Chrismukkah,” a celebration that invokes both traditions, can be fun for college roommates of different faiths or Jewish-Christian families.
But for Jews who feel that the Christmas season overwhelms Hanukkah, or even that the relatively minor holiday of Hanukkah gets over-hyped to compete with Christmas, the idea of a Christmas-Hanukkah hybrid doesn’t always sit well.
But Thanksgivukkah? It’s not going to outlive Chrismukkah, but while it’s here, Jewish Americans are going to make the most of it.
Watch this battle rap video of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.
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No – Hanukkah is such a minor holiday . . .
Oh my goodness.. That video is so silly! This is interesting, and you are right, Hanukkah and thanksgiving do seem like a better match. Well it change either of these holidays for you, having them together?