Wednesday, December 1, 2010
For Our Jewish Readers: Happy Chanukah
Chanukah begins tonight, the festival of lights, rejoice! This morning on NPR I heard an interesting story about how Chanukah was popularized in the late 19th Century in America (and then later among European Jews) by two Reform Rabbis out of Cincinnati. Of course, its an ancient holiday, but the present incarnation, including presents, was a way for Reform Jews who were part of an integrationist movement, to partake in a winter holiday much in the way that 19th Century Christians began to celebrate Christmas (also a lesser holiday at the time, Easter remember is historically the significant Christian holiday) in its present, Dickensian-sentimentalist fashion.