Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ruth's Zeroeth Channukha!

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Tonight is the first night of the festival of lights, which celebrates the victory of religious fascism over cosmopolitanism, or something like that. We hope to bring Ruth up to appreciate fully the great history of her people - to that end, I have made sure that we have two essential Judaism manuals around the house:

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For me, To Be a Jew was the central devotional element of the holidays when I was a child. The Jewish side of my family was never very observant (and after I opted not to be Bar Mitzvah, I wasn't really welcomed by the local rabbis - my other grandparents' priest was much more interested in talking to me about theology... I just never found Catholic theology all that agreeable, but I give them points for being relatively welcoming), so holidays meant sitting down with my family so that my dad could flip back and forth through To Be a Jew and we could all stumble over the Hebrew transliterations. It was only later in life that I started telling everyone foolish enough to ask that Hannukha celebrated a terrorist victory. My folks had a lot to put up with. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Oh, and yes, that is a bad-ass oil-burning menorah. I fell in love with it at the synagogue gift shop when I was a kid. It went missing sometime around when my family moved from my old hometown back in 1992, and my mom (miraculously?) found it just in time for our first Channukah in the new house and our first "with" Ruth.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Thank you, Daniel, for bringing Melissa and Ruth into our family. I am pleased that the menorah means so much to you; it was given to me for you - in exchange for some work I'd done for the Ezrath Israel Sisterhood. It was Rabbi Eisner who prudently, and with much insight and tolerance, gave us the To Be a Jew text.