Celebrating a Rare Occurrence, “Thanksgivukkah”
This Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28, 2013, we’ll not only celebrate Thanksgiving, but this year it also coincides with Chanukah or Hanukkah [if you prefer] (some are still undecided)—a rare occurrence, to say the least. Actually, Thanksgivukkah (termed by many) this year takes place on the second night of Chanukah/Hanukkah, and this melding of celebrations hasn’t happened since the late 1800’s, and it won’t be seen again for another 1,700 years, in fact!
I am not Jewish, but this year I will proudly celebrate Thanksgivukkah, Thanksgiving and Chanukah/Hanukkah, in spirit and in heart, along with my Jewish friends throughout the United States and all those that may celebrate outside.
Having had close Jewish neighbors and friends, I learned a few things about this Jewish holiday and its traditions.
One ~ Chanukah/Hanukkah is celebrated for eight-days and eight-nights, and it commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, that followed the Jewish victory over Syrians-Greeks (who’d desecrated the temple) in the year 165 BC. Hence it is a joyous celebration of religious freedom and survival.
Two ~ The “Festival of Lights” is celebrated with some traditional foods, such as: Latkes (similar to pancakes but made from grated potatoes, with the addition of flour and eggs, then fried, and served with applesauce and/or sour cream), Brisket (beef, the main attraction, usually slow roasted to tender, delicious perfection), [and for dessert] Rugelach or Rogelach (rolled cookies with a cream cheese based dough, rolled around a sweet filling, such as: raisins and nuts, jams/marmalades, or chocolate).
And I, at our Thanksgivukkah table, would like to serve alongside our oven-roasted turkey and [must have] creamy-cheesy mashed potatoes, my version of sweet potato latkes. I also plan on surprising mi familia with homemade braided Challah for breakfast (a rich egg bread, yeast-risen, traditionally eaten by Jewish people on Shabbat, festival holidays, and other special occasions).
Could life get any better, richer, or sweeter?!
In my home, on this once-in-our-lifetime experience, my family members and I will give God thanks for His never-failing love and the plenty that is always seen at our table. Our pantry is always full and our home made warm. Though we have seen trials and tribulations aplenty, we have never gone hungry or lacked for the absolute essentials, and for that we are truly grateful.
Here’s wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgivukkah!
We dream a life to be; we live to dream that life! (Virginia Kahler-Anderson)