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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hanukkah in America

Today, as we have been preparing our dishes to bring to the Thanksgiving table tomorrow, my family and I took a few minutes out of our busy evening to light our menorah and celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.

In fact, the kids have been alternating between their penny stakes dreidel game and the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving DVD all evening.

In our mixed religion family, we celebrate Hanukkah without gifts, but for many of my friends and family, Hanukkah has become very important as it has been paired more with Christmas.  So I wanted to make sure to take a moment out of all the turkey and stuffing to give Hanukkah its moment.  [Although I have to say, this year’s pairing for Hanukkah and Thanksgiving makes much more sense to me since Hanukkah is all about thanking God for a miracle.]

While my eight years of Hebrew School do not come close to making me an expert on the subject, I am a good librarian, so I know a good book to point you to.  Today, on NPR, Dianne Ashton was a guest on Tell Me More, talking about her book Hanukkah in America.

Click here to either listen to the story or read a transcript.

It is an interesting read to see the evolution of what is really a minor Jewish holiday into a multi-million dollar American industry.

Happy Hanukkah and Happy Thanksgiving.

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