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June 1, 2016

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

For the first time in over 100 years, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah will be celebrated on Thanksgiving Day.

This hybrid holiday has been dubbed “Thanksgivukkah” and is for many people a once-in-a-lifetime event. The next time the holidays might theoretically converge will be in the year 2070—although some analysts are saying it won’t actually happen for 80,000 years. This is because the Jewish calendar uses a lunar-solar calendar, while secular dates follow the Gregorian calendar. Both calendars shift in relation to the actual solar year, but at different rates. So while Hanukkah usually falls around Christmastime, this year the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving Day.

Thankfully, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving already have a lot in common. Both holidays signify a time to be with family and eat delicious food—with special emphasis on the food. This year’s joint celebration is inspiring some particularly wacky combination dishes, such as “challurkey” (pumpkin-flavored challah bread in the shape of a turkey) and “turbrisket” (yes, that would be turkey filled with brisket). And as much as I love mashed potatoes, I’ve always thought latkes and applesauce would make the perfect side dish to my mom’s roast turkey. I plan to wear an elastic waistband to dinner.

What else do the holidays have in common besides expanding our waistbands? Hanukkah is an eight-day festival that celebrates the revolt of the Jewish Maccabees against Greek-Syrian oppressors during the second century B.C. It’s a time to be thankful for the miracles and blessings that allowed the Jewish people to continue to exist, and to be thankful for the miracles and blessings in our own individual lives.

So it’s really not a far stretch to combine that sentiment with Thanksgiving, a day for every American to take time to be grateful for all the good things in life: friends, family, food, and football.

Just be careful not to knock over the menorah while tossing that football.

Happy holidays!



Short Bio about Author: Dana Shaked is the Assistant Director of Creative Services for the teacher pages of the Reading Club catalogs.

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