Last Thursday was Thanksgiving, and for the first time in 125 years, it was also Hanukkah. This mash-up of American tradition and Judaic celebration is a good representation of yours truly, a girl whose dad is Jewish and mom was culturally Christian. Thus, I’m Jew-ish.
I could relate to the centerpiece decoration at our feast, pilgrim figurines situated under a Star of David, a mixture of two cultures. I enjoy being a hybrid. I’ve celebrated both Passover and Christmas every year of my enitre life. I’ve equally loved Christmas Eve church services (if I’m honest it’s the candles during “Silent Night” that keep me going back), and the parsley dipped in saltwater during Passover (to symbolize the tears of our ancestors in slavery). I love the story of baby Jesus being born in a manger to remind myself to be humble, and that upon mentioning the Ten Plagues during Seder, we poor wine out of our glasses ten separate times to demonstrate that we will not raise a glass to the suffering of the Egyptians, though they did our ancestors harm.
I gain wisdom from the stories from these religions, but my relationship with God has been a separate journey. More on that in future blog posts.
I want to write a series of posts on being Jew-ish, perhaps on my faith in general. To start, here’s some backstory, a piece I wrote on my trip to Israel via Birthright, a free ten-day trip to the Holy Land any Jew under the age of 26 can take. Matador Travel published the article, and I’m still very proud of it. Read it here.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgivukkah, see you at the next one–in 77,798 years.