Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Hanukkah

I got a chuckle out of this since we're planning to go out for Chinese tomorrow. That, and as a tribute for all my friends who are celebrating the holiday without cherishing the Reason for the Season. I have to say I consider that particularly American; we love the external flourishes, we celebrate the trivial while conveniently ignoring the beating heart of the thing.

Jews on Christmas

There isn’t enough soy sauce in the world to feed
Jews on Christmas
Huddled around steaming plates of dumplings
Discussing cinematography
Who has lived and who has died
Shocked to hear that the hot new Hollywood star is actually half-Jewish
(and not arguing which half)
I don’t see what all the fuss is about Nathan Englander.
Yes, it’s like The Wire, but different,
Costco is a mixed blessing,
Do you trust Yelp?
On our smartphones we subtract the Chinese year from the Jewish year to see how long the Jews had to wait to try egg drop soup.
The laughter of Jews on Christmas
shakes the jade Buddha under the faux waterfall from his
sleepy serenity
And for a moment, the enlightened one opens his eyes,
smiling contently as he joins us to look at pictures of relatives at Harry Potter world.
Now he’s Jewish too.
The Moo Shu comes with little tortillas, pancakes, wraps,
whatever you want to call them.
And we wrap up the mush of last year, with all of it’s regrets and tzuris,
And immerse into soy sauce,
a ritual bath,
three times dipped,
and we say – this is not bad.
Our highest compliment.

~ David Brenner

As a thorough agnostic, I enjoy the unChristmasness of Hanukkah; the trivial little Festival of Lights that our Bible-walloping brethern have tried to make into "Jewish Christmas". So a vigorous spin of the dreidel to my Jewish friends for their contribution to Everything Not Christmas. That, and the fact that cinematic Judaism has not produced anything - not a damn thing - as eye-gougingly horrible as any of the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer", or nativity scenes with the parties portrayed as chickens, Muppets, or Disney characters.

Although you guys DO have to own up to Eight Crazy Nights; holy fucking Baby Jesus on a stick was that awful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When we were rearing our children, we made a good attempt to expose them t every winter holiday we could find. We gave Christianity a good go, too; but in the end I defaulted back to my pantheistic setting of loving nature more than distant "gods" who apparently have the ringer on mute on their phones.

We celebrate the Solstice...Axial Tilt IS the reason for our season! But I still like the music from nearly everything else as well....tho' not the mall versions.