Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Chanukah!

One of the great things about growing up in Albany and New York City is the fact that one encounters a magnificent tapesty of humanity as one makes his or her way thru daily life. I have friends who are Christians, Muslims and Jews. I think I'm pals with an Athiest and a "new ager" too...

When I was coming up the holidays were always times of wonder (and still are). And because the Jewish community has always had a presence in both of my cities, it is common to have knowledge and even observe (in one's own way) the many holidays of various faiths that occur this time of the season.

Sunday night, December 21, marks the beginning of the Jewish festival of Chanukah (or Hanukkah). Like many Jewish holidays, Chanukah commemorates a story from Jewish history.

As a holiday, Chanukah has sometimes seemed like a paler version of Christmas, but in reality it is steeped in special traditions and practices. For one thing, in the 21st century, more people are AWARE of Chanukah than they were, say, back in 1988. We have come along way, and it's great to "share holidays" among good friends. Heck, some people even switch from one religion to another, almost like changing their sox.

So is there gift-giving at Chanukah? Eight nights worth, beginning December 21. Here is Gift-giving advice from the Talmud. Klug’s running a promo where she’s giving away one autographed copy of the book for every night of Chanukah.

Is there food? Yup - LATKES! How about music? What about "carols" like Christians sing at Christmastime? Well, sure BTW --- I found another really neat column written by Nechemia Meyers from Rehovot, Israel. Instead of copying and posting excerpts, I thought you'd enjoy reading the entire article, so kindly click HeRe!!!

Jessica Jensen: Thoughts on a Green Chanukah

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