Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgivukkah Prayer 2013

The buzz surrounding the anomaly on the Jewish calendar this year when the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving is an oddity. As I told Sue Selasky of the Detroit Free Press when she interviewed me about Thanksgivukkah, I explained that the hype surrounding this day is palpable. It is truly a statistical oddity as it won't coincide again until 75,000 years from now, according to Santa Fe, New Mexico physicist Jonathan Mizrahi’s calculations.

The last time the first full day of Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving was in 1888, just weeks after the presidential election that pitted Grover Cleveland of New York, the incumbent president and a Democrat, against the Republican nominee Benjamin Harrison. As I explained to Sue during her research for the article in the Free Press, since Hanukkah is an eight day celebration, there have been years since when some nights have overlapped with Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah won’t coincide again until 2070 and then again in 2165 when the first night of Hanukkah will fall on Thanksgiving.

Thanksgivukkah Sweet Potato Latke at Southern Nosh Vegetarian Soul (gluten free), which is a restaurant in Metro Detroit that is certified kosher by Kosher Michigan. More information and the recipe is on the Kosher Michigan website

Paul Raushenbush, the editor of Huffington Post Religion and an ordained American Baptist minister who happens to be the great-grandson of Louis Brandeis, asked me to write a prayer for Thanksgivukkah. The following is what I wrote for Huffington Post Religion:

On this special day of Thanksgivukkah, we feel so blessed. We celebrate the gifts of two joyous holidays instead of one.

Let us be thankful for the blessings -- Both the blessings we receive and the blessings we gift to our family and to our friends.

May the light that radiates reminding us of the Hanukkah miracle shed its light onto all for a joyous Thanksgiving as well.

As we gather around to kindle the Hanukkah lights, let us remind each other of our bountiful lives; our lives enriched by God's gifts.

Let us embrace our Jewish heritage as well as our American freedom.

And let the messages of Hanukkah and the traditions of Thanksgiving blend into a spirit of joy for us all.

May the Creator of All, the Source of Life, grant us health and happiness, peace and love.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this special day of Thanksgivukkah.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הַעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that you addressed our privilege to be able to celebrate these two great holidays together. Many concentrate their thoughts on the convergence in the calendar, which certainly is an important and interesting anomaly. But you expressed the blessing it is for us to be witness to such an event.
Thank you so much.