Growing up in the Reform community in the US in the 50s and 60s, I remember the constant discussions of the Chanukah-Christmas dilemma. Was it possible to disengage Chanukah from the seasonal linkage to Christmas, and keep it somehow true to its roots? Or was it doomed to be "the Jewish answer to Christmas," which increasingly meant an orgy of shopping and materialism?
When I first heard the term “Thanksgivukkah”—the convergence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving—and that it was happening this year, I must admit that I became a little anxious because it brought back some of my interfaith marriage insecurities that I thought were long gone.
Saperstein: Lights—a symbol of freedom and hope.
Saperstein: “It is shameful that the United States chose not to be a part of the first UN General Assembly declaration condemning state-sanctioned human rights abuses against LGBT people”
Eileh Azkara (These I Remember) is the lament that recounts the martyrdom of ten rabbis during the Roman brutality of 2000 years ago.
I’ve come to the conclusion we need to change the date of Simchat Torah. Our Jewish festivals must be re-envisioned as inspirational community gatherings of joyful spiritual Jewish celebration. Every single festival needs to be a time of great community involvement and meaning.