I know Chanukah has caught many people by surprise this year, what with arriving LESS THAN A WEEK after Thanksgiving! However, my kids have been preparing for over a month, by playing with dreidels (we have a zillion lying around the house), counting down the days and of course perfecting their gift wish lists.
Witnessing their excitement and joy in the holiday has been really heartwarming. Nonetheless, I’m still struggling a bit to overcome my inner Grinch by tonight: I’ve been feeling a bit overburdened by Chanukah’s various demands, particularly with the holiday arriving at such a busy time of year. In addition to attending two Chanukah events this week at our temple, we’re hosting a family gathering on Saturday night, and I’m visiting both girls’ classes in my annual role as Jewish Ambassador/Chanukah Lady. (My mom used to do this when I was little, so it’s a family tradition.)
Do people still send Christmas and Chanukah cards?
The last time I was organized enough to sit down with a stack of envelopes, stamps and list of addresses, was in 1998, when I was sending out wedding invitations. I’m sure that were my lapsed Catholic hubby and I to marry now, we’d probably notify the guests via Evite.
I’m trying to finish three large articles before Thanksgiving, all while doing a fair amount of editing (and did I mention that I officially work only three-quarters time?!), so the blog is getting pushed through the cracks a little this week.
To tide you over while I have a nervous breakdown, er finish my other assignments, I hereby link you to some topical pieces appearing elsewhere on the Internet:
Perhaps it’s just because I have trouble with decisions and uncertainty, but my own experience was that inter-dating my now-husband Joe was much more stressful than being intermarried to him (not that our marriage is particularly stressful).
The issue for me was that, while my entire family has been nothing but thrilled with Joe from Day 1, I spent much of our courtship worrying that my more traditional Jewish friends and the Jewish people with whom I worked would disapprove of me and would try to persuade us to break up.
The Jerusalem Post piece, written by former Jewish Week staffer (and now blogger) Sharon Udasin, notes that Kellogg, raised secular, started attending synagogue a few years ago when his non-Jewish fiancée, Hope Fargis, encouraged him to research his roots and explore his faith.
Adam Kotok has directed my attention to a lovely Hebrew cover of the song (video embedded below) done by his wife Dafna Israel-Kotok, the musician who saved my daughter’s Israel-themed birthday party. In addition to performing at parties, Dafna runs some very cool all-in-Hebrew children’s music classes called Shir Fun.
I like her “Tamid Tzair,” although it would be great if the video featured a more racially/ethnically diverse selection of families.
Perhaps at no time more than Halloween am I struck by the huge chasm between Orthodox/traditional Conservative Jews and the rest of us.
Among most of my Jewish family and friends, there has never been even a question of whether or not to join other Americans in dressing up in costume, carving a jack-o-lantern and trick-or-treating. Halloween is a fun holiday and of course we partake.