Archive for hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 2, 2018 by andelino

Jewish Year 5779: Sunset December 2, 2018 – Nightfall December 10, 2018

On the Hebrew calendar, Hanukkah is celebrated on the 25 of Kislev, and continues for eight days. The name “Hanukkah” is derived from the Hebrew phrase “they rested on the 25th” (the rebellion ended that day).

No matter how you spell it, Hanukkah is the “Festival of Lights,” the holiday that commemorates the re-dedication of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE. Though Hanukkah has become especially popular because it falls close to Christmas-time every year, it is actually considered to be a minor holiday on the Jewish calendar. It is also one of the later Jewish holidays to have been instituted, and does not appear in the Torah because the events occurred after the Torah was written.

In 175 BCE, Antiochus IV Epiphanes gained control of Judea. He outlawed the Jewish religion, and in 167 BCE went so far as to desecrate the Holy Temple by having an altar to Zeus placed there and ordering pigs to be sacrificed (very not kosher!). A rebellion was led by the Jewish priest Mattityahu and his five sons, one of whom, Judah Maccabee, took over the rebellion after his father died. The family was called the Maccabees or the Hasmoneans. In 165 BCE, the Jews managed to defeat their oppressors and to rededicate their sacred temple. According to the Talmud, after the temple was cleaned, olive oil was needed to fuel the light of the menorah (candelabrum). Though there was only enough oil to burn for one day, the oil lasted eight days. On Hanukkah, Jews celebrate their religious freedom and what is considered to be a great miracle that occurred.

Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days, in honor of the miracle of the oil that lasted eight days in the Holy Temple. Unlike some other Jewish holidays where work is forbidden, there are no restrictions on doing work during Hanukkah. On each day, Jews light candles on a hanukkiah (a nine-branched candelabrum), starting with one candle and adding one more each day. The candle used to light the other candles is known as the shamash. Blessings over the candles are chanted and festive songs are sung, commemorating the Maccabean Revolt.

Children and adults play a game called dreidel (a dreidel is a spinning top that shows four Hebrew letters: nun, gimel, hey, shin, which stand for the phrase “A great miracle happened there.” In Israel, one letter is changed: nun, gimel, hey, pey, to stand for the phrase, “A great miracle happened here.”) It is customary to give Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins) as small gifts. Though many Jews nowadays give more elaborate gifts during Hanukkah, this practice developed because of the holiday’s proximity to Christmas and is not a traditionally Jewish custom.

On Hanukkah, Jews eat food that is deep fried in oil, another tasty reminder of the miracle of the oil. A classic Hanukkah dish is crispy potato pancakes called latkes in Yiddish and levivot in Hebrew, often served with applesauce and sour cream. Another delicious Hanukkah treat is sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts), usually topped with powdered sugar. Sephardic Hanukkah donuts are called bunuelos (or bimuelos) and are traditionally dipped in honey.

To wish someone a Happy Hanukkah, say “Hanukkah Sameach!” (Happy Hanukkah) or simply “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holiday). Or if you want to show off your Hebrew skills, say “Chag Urim Sameach!” (urim means “lights”).

Joy and peace to you and your family!

Happy Federal Holidays

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 26, 2015 by andelino

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University of Central Florida liberal professor Terri Fine wants Americans to “stop” wishing each other “Merry Christmas” and begin using the more inclusive “Happy Federal Holiday” instead.

In a column on the UCF website titled “A Holiday Greeting That Applies to Everyone,” Fine argues that “Happy Federal Holiday” is a more inclusive holiday greeting than saying “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Chanukah,” or even “Happy Holidays.”

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Part of the problem, Dr. Fine explains, is that “People wish each other ‘Merry Christmas’ whether they know the other person’s religious background or not,” even though Christmas occurs around the same time frame as “Hanukkah,” which Fine refers to as “Chanukah.”

Simply saying both “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Chanukah,” Fine argues, isn’t appropriate because “Christmas is one of the two holiest days for Christians, while Chanukah is a minor holiday on the calendar.”

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Using both greetings, Fine says, is “insulting” to both Christians—“by implying Christmas is a minor holiday”—and Jews—by denying “the holiness associated with the major Jewish holy days and festivals.”

Simply saying “Happy Holidays,” Fine says, also isn’t “culturally sensitive” enough.

“It is the non-specificity of ‘Happy Holidays’ that makes it inappropriate because it fails to recognize the importance of Christmas to Christians while it also suggests that Chanukah should be more important to Jews than the high holidays and festivals that come at other times during the year,” Fine claims.

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The most “inclusive” greeting, according to Fine, is for Americans to wish each other a “Happy Federal Holiday.”

“Because the U.S. government in some cases and the state government in others have identified certain days during the year as state and federal holidays, including those that fall during the late fall and winter season – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day –we have no choice but to observe these holidays whether we want to or not,” Fine explains.

Fine goes on to celebrate the fact that “Happy Federal Holiday” can be used “all throughout the year” and not just during “Holiday Season.”

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Another upside of replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Federal Holiday,” she argues, is that “Most everyone is included and no one is excluded no matter their religious beliefs or practices.”

“As long as we live in the United States, these federal and state holidays impact us equally so we might as well celebrate them equally, too,” Fine says.

And because “Happy Federal Holiday” doesn’t hold any “real” meaning, Fine argues, Americans can be sure to avoid being “culturally insensitive.”

“We know that we are not being culturally insensitive by extending to someone a holiday greeting that has no meaning to them because they practice a different religion or no religion at all,” she writes.

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Terri.Fine@ucf.edu

Dr. Fine concludes by arguing that replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Federal Holiday” will give Americans the opportunity to “learn about each others religious and cultural beliefs and practices because we will not treat people as if we already know what those beliefs and practices are.”

According to the UCF website, Dr. Fine is a professor of “political” science whose research interests include “women and politics, public opinion and voting behavior, and political methodology.”

She’s also affiliated with the “Department of Women’s Studies” which explains it all.

And while we are at it, no more paid “federal holidays.” Let all government offices be “open” and have everybody “working” on those days with “no” pay.

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They want separation from “Church and State” fine, let’s follow it through.

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Then we will “see and hear” those government employees who “vote” overwhelmingly democratic “screaming and having fits,” as well as all the “unions” as they follow the “Happy Federal Holiday” schedule.

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Feliz Navidad, everyone!

“We Say Merry Christmas,” If You Don’t Like It: “LEAVE!”
The Texas Rep Who Might Slap You If You Don’t Say “Merry Christmas”

Dr. Dreidel

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2014 by andelino

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Hip-hop fan and Bay Area Designer, Painter, Illustrator, Writer, Jeweler, and “Up-to-No-Gooder” Hannah Rothstein states on her website: “Sometimes, the best concepts are the ones with no complex reasoning behind them.”

“Like the Dr. Dreidel. Created for its sheer hilarity and the love of puns, this laser-etched, wooden dreidel brings together two unlikely cohorts: the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah and rap music.”

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It’s Judah Maccabees with dreadlocks, then.

And Rothstein doesn’t only “sell” you the dreidel, she goes ahead and “teaches” the simple rules of the “gambling” game that’s kept millions of Jews “busy” indoors in those winter nights while the “crusaders” were chasing “Muslims” outside.

Watch out for the online version, and then see Sheldon Adelson pushing to get it banned.

Hannah used “laser-etching” to create the “Dr. Dreidel,” which could be used for the “classic” game where players compete for “candy or coins.”

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The piece “features” pictures of “rap” superstar “Dr. Dre.”

For the winning “Gimmel” sign, Dre flashes a “thumbs up.” For the “Nun” sign, when nothing much happens in the game, Dre looks “grim.”

“Each Dr. Dre face has been carefully chosen to correlate with the ‘aftermath’ of the dreidel’s spin,” Rothstein explains.

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ג Gimmel, “’take all’ is a dreidel player’s dream. It gets a thumbs up from a happy Dr. Dre.

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ה Hay, “take half” is no reason to party, but isn’t too shabby, hence the mildly smug portrait or Dr. Dre.

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נ Nun, “nothing happens,” is a boring outcome. A dead-pan Dr. Dre affirms this.

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ש Shin, “put one in,” is pretty depressing; the dreidel player loses an M & M or other such playing piece. But shins are seldom a chronic problem in dreidel. Dr. Dre’s definitely overreacting.

Rothstein said that the “Dreidel” was an “on-the-fly idea” and is not “yet” available for purchase, but she’d seriously consider “producing” them if interest was “intense” enough.

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Playing with the “dreidel” is a traditional “Hanukkah” game played in Jewish “homes” all over the world, and rules “may” vary.

The Hebrew word for dreidel is “sevivon,” which, as in Yiddish, means “to turn around.” Dreidels have four Hebrew letters on them, and they stand for the saying, “Nes gadol haya sham,” meaning a “great miracle” occurred there.

In Israel, instead of the fourth letter “shin,” there is a “peh,” which means the saying is “Nes gadol haya po”–a great miracle occurred here.

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Here’s how to play the “basic” dreidel game:

1. Any number of people can take part in this great game.
2. Each player begins the game with an equal number of game pieces (about 10-15) such as pennies, nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, matchsticks, etc.
3. At the beginning of each round, every participant puts one game piece into the center “pot.” In addition, every time the pot is empty or has only one game piece left, every player should put one in the pot.
4. Every time it’s your turn, spin the dreidel once. Depending on the outcome, you give or get game pieces from the pot:
a) “Nun” means “nisht” or “nothing” in Yiddish. The player does nothing.
b) “Gimmel” means “gantz” or “everything” in Yiddish. The player gets everything in the pot.
c) “Hey” means “halb” or “half” in Yiddish. The player gets half of the pot. If there is an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes half of the total plus one.
d) “Shin” (outside of Israel) means “shtel” or “put in” in Yiddish. “Peh” in Israel means “pay.” The player adds a game piece to the pot.
5. If you find that you have no game pieces left, you are either “out” or may ask a fellow player for a “loan.”
6. When one person has won everything, that round of the game is over!
7. We suggest that if you use money to play the game, ask players to “donate” part or all of their “winnings” to “tzedakah” Yiddish for “charity.” You can also ask parents to “match” these contributions. This way everyone wins and you can share the Hanukkah “gifts” with those in need!

Some of the world’s most “popular” Christmas songs, including “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, were “written” by Jews.

So it’s only “fitting” that Senator Orrin Hatch, a Mormon, from Utah, would write what has become the all-time best “Hanukkah” song ever. Enjoy!

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The classic Hanukkah game is painfully slow. It’s time to speed it up.

Jewish In My Soul

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 20, 2014 by andelino

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President Obama tells “guests” at the White House Hanukkah celebration, “I’m Jewish in my soul.”

The “revelation” was made by David Suissa, of the “Jewish Journal” who was “invited” to the reception at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue “attended” by about 550 Jewish leaders, journalists and dignitaries.

The president took part in the “Menorah-lighting” ceremony and delivered a speech about “freedom,” peppered with light-hearted “jokes” about Jewish food.

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With the formal part of the event over, Obama was “mingling” with his guests when one of them caught his “attention” and told him in a “booming” voice:

“Mr President, when I told my Christian friend I was coming to a Hanukkah party at the White House, he told me, I didn’t know the president was Jewish!”

Suissa, who was “standing” nearby, wrote that Obama “responded” to the guest’s quip with a “serious belly laugh.”

After three or four seconds, as he was “walking” away from the crowd, Obama responded: “I am Jewish in my soul.”

Alan Gross smiles at a news conference in Washington after returning to the United States

Jewish-American Alan Gross.

The celebration of the Jewish high holy day “coincided” with the release of Jewish-American “spy” Alan Gross from a Cuban “prison” after five years of captivity.

“I’m told that in the Jewish tradition, one of the great mitzvahs is pidyon shvuyim,” Obama said in his remarks, drawing “applause” from the audience.

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“My Hebrew is not perfect, but I get points for trying. But it describes the redemption, the freeing, of captives. And that’s what we’re celebrating today, because after being unjustly held in Cuba for more than five years, American Alan Gross is free.”

The statement from Obama, who “claims” to be a practicing Christian, might come as a “surprise” to some in the Jewish community.

Obama has been widely “criticized” over the past six weeks for not being as unconditionally “supportive” of the State of Israel as his predecessors.

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But in 2011, New York magazine “proclaimed” Obama America’s “first Jewish president.”

Journalist John Heilemann, who wrote the cover story in September 2011, described Obama at the time as “the best friend Israel has right now.”

Standing in the “Grand Foyer” of the White House decked in “sparkling” Christmas decorations, Obama said: “Obviously, the bonds between our two countries are unbreakable.”

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I am whatever I need to be.

For the “second” year in a row, the president’s annual “Hanukkah” bash was split into “two” to accommodate more guests.

An “afternoon” session on the State Floor of the White House was followed by an “evening” party, where guests “mingled” with lawmakers.

The tradition of celebrating “Hanukkah” at the White House was “started” by George W. Bush in 2001.

So, there you have it.

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The leader of the free world says he’s “Atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Jewish in his soul.”

No wonder the world is in such a “terrible” mess.

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Santa Visit By Jewish Boys

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 15, 2014 by andelino

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My kids don’t “really” know anything about “Santa Claus.”

When they were 4 and 2, we went to the “Baltimore Streetcar Museum” for a visit, not realizing it was the time of its annual “Christmas” celebration, during which visitors could “ride” a vintage ’50s streetcar up to the “North Pole” (i.e., the Department of Transportation’s giant salt piles up on Falls Road).

Once we got there, “Santa” climbed aboard the train, and after a round of “ho ho hos,” gave each kid a “candy cane” and asked each what “he or she” wanted for Christmas.

Other families were “prepared” with lists and cameras. My kids were “psyched” about the candy canes but otherwise “dumbfounded.” For a while after that, whenever they saw “Santa” at a mall or on TV, they would shout, “That’s the guy who gave us candy!”

The boys are 8 and 6 now, and they know “who” Santa is. Every year, we ask them not to tell their “non-Jewish” friends that Santa isn’t “real,” but we recently got a “complaint” from the parents of a “traumatized” kindergartener.

This year, City Paper thought we could put my kids’ “general lack” of experience with, or “interest” in Santa, to good use.

They’ve never talked to a “Mall Santa,” so we visited “four” of them, and got the kids to “review” their interactions with the “emotional” distance only a “Jewish” kid could provide.

Their “reviews” follow, with ratings on a scale of one to eight “Hanukkah” candles, not including the “Shamash,” duh.

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TOWSON TOWN CENTER – None of the three of us had ever visited a Mall Santa, so we were all a little nervous as we approached our first late on a weekday afternoon.

When we got to the Towson Mall’s elaborate “Santa Land”, with cool overhead lights that make it look like it’s snowing, there was an empty chair and a sign that said, “Santa is feeding the reindeer and will be back in one hour.”

Santa did finally arrive, aided a by a red-and-white striped cane, and we were all a little star struck. I tried to videotape the encounter with my phone, but was sternly told “No cameras!” Wow, Santa is famous.

St. Nick warmly invited the boys to sit on either side of him and asked them what they wanted for Christmas. Jack, 8, was quick to request a remote-controlled airplane, while Benny, 6, asked some questions first.

“We’re Jewish,” he leveled, bluntly. “Will you still bring us presents?”

After a moment’s pause, Santa said, “Sure!” He turned to me and said, “You know, I haven’t had a DNA test, but I think I’m part-Jewish, along with English and Scottish.”

Wait until my boys tell their friends “Santa is Jewish.” Imagine the calls I’ll get from other parents then.

The boys liked him. “I think he was the nicest,” Benny said after visiting all four Santa’s. Jack adds, “Also, he had a really big chair that we could all fit in.”

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WHITE MARSH – The White Marsh Santa seemed a bit younger and more energetic, with cool dark streaks in his beard. It’s worth noting that all the Santa’s seemed to have real beards. It’s apparently a pre-requisite for the gig these days.

This time, the boys asked if Santa celebrated “Hanukkah.” Without missing a beat, White Marsh Santa replied energetically, “Absolutely! Santa’s an ‘ecumenical’ guy!’” And he has a solid vocabulary too!

Jack, who apparently took note of the seating arrangements in each North Pole, notes, “He had a long couch to sit on,” and “he was so nice.” Benny adds, “He was the cuddliest.”

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THE SHOPS AT KENILWORTH – Kenilworth is actually the one mall that we do tend to visit around Christmastime. They have the awesome, elaborate train display on the first floor, a delight for kids of all faiths.

Also the pizza at Italian Gardens is solid, one of the few in the area to serve good Chicago-style deep dish, a favorite of this Jew.

It’s also the only mall of the four we reviewed that is not owned by General Growth Properties (GGP), and so its Santa operation is a little different.

It’s smaller and a bit cheaper, and includes prints from the second-floor Ritz Camera and free Santa cookies from the awesome bakery Ashley’s Sweet Beginnings downstairs.

At the other malls, the elves were young, presumably seasonal workers hired by GGP.

Here, it was two older guys who, it seems, had been contracted to run the Santa operation.

Santa himself was good-natured if not exactly chatty. He asked the boys what they wanted for Christmas, and when Jack repeated his now “routine request” for a remote-controlled airplane, the elf behind the camera’s eyes lit up.

“If you’re new to the hobby, you should probably get an RTF,” he said excitedly, reaching for his phone and explaining to me that a “ready-to-fly” plane comes mostly assembled.

For several minutes he “blathered” on and flipped through “pictures and videos” on his phone of his various model planes, while me, the boys, and Santa all looked on in “bored” bewilderment.

Benny, who was growing “tired” of our Santa project by this point, had to be “goaded” to ask Santa the pertinent questions.

“We’re not Christian,” he said awkwardly, and for the first time I wondered if I should feel “badly” about enlisting my kids in this journalistic mission. “We’re Jewish. Will you still bring us presents?”

“Uh, sure,” Santa stammered, clearly taken aback. “We do Jewish.”

As I went ahead to pay for our pictures, the two elves were discussing at length their mind-blowing trip to the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

In review, Jack notes, “That guy knew a lot about airplanes and I really liked the videos.” Benny adds, “I kept slipping off the chair.”

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MONDAWMIN MALL – The last Santa we visited was at a disadvantage from the get-go as we were all getting a little tired of the “Santa Shtick.” Unlike you goyim, at least we get to go without it for the rest of the Holiday Season.

This project worked out to be kinda like those smoking cessation programs where you have to smoke, like, 100 butts an hour until you’re so sick of them that you never want to smoke again. I don’t think my kids will be anxious to celebrate Christmas anytime soon.

Fortunately, we were all really charmed by Mondawmin’s Santa and his elves. This Santa, the only “African-American” of the four we met, invited the boys right up and chatted with them quietly for much longer than any of the others.

I asked the boys later what they talked about, and they said he asked where they went to school and what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Santa was apparently really excited when Jack said he wanted to be a wrestler, and they talked about wrestling for a while.

Googling later, I found out that Mondawmin’s Santa has been at it for more than 30 years, and is fairly legendary, known as “Santa Luke.”

After he was done chatting with the kids, he asked if we could take a picture with the four of us and one of the super-friendly elves snapped it.

Asked the now-perfunctory question about visiting Jewish families, Santa Luke answered, “Sure, we can bring your presents.”

“He was the coolest,” Benny says in retrospect. “He was so nice.” Jack adds, smiling, “He thought I would be a great wrestler.”

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This mom’s little spiel about being “sick” of Santa is outrageous. You’re tired of giving your children “comfort and joy?”

And your kids are “lying” to you about not being “head over heels” for Christmas.

Never seen a kid more “high” on Christmas “spirit” than the one on the left, and the other one looks like “John Blutarsky” about to partake in a “joyous” food fight.

They’re loving it. “Check Mate.” Your kids now belong to “Santa” and will celebrate “Christmas” instead “Hanukkah.”

The North Pole is out of our jurisdiction

ObamaCare for Christmas

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 8, 2013 by andelino

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Winter Solstice has come early this year!

Is it already “Christmas” for Christians, “Kwanzaa” for the black folks, “Hanukkah” for the children of Israel and “Holidays” for the progressive Liberals!

Now we can talk about the “true” meaning of the season – “a state sponsored healthcare” – given to us by President Obama to save us from the sins of “self-reliance and liberty.”

ObamaCare – the “Reason for the Season” is definitely the “gift that will keep on giving!”

Here are some “helpful” suggestions how to go about “talking and persuading” your family members and friends to sign up for “ObamaCare” to have the best “health care” for next year.

As a public “safety” reminder, be sure to set aside extra time this “Holiday” season to work with your attorneys in dealing with “Identity Theft” that experts are saying could result from using healthcare.gov!

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Obama Night – The Healthcare’s Shining Brightly

Jingle bells, ObamaCare’s swell!
Website’s down again.
Oh what fun it is to type
My data all over again!

Jingle bells, this is hell,
Fingers feel like wood.
I’m so happy to endure this pain
To make Obama look good!

Typing all night long,
Some hacker stole my name.
The application’s so damn long
It’s driving me insane!

Can’t get a subsidy
I make too damn much dough.
And now the damn thing’s 404
So I’ll start all over again!

Silent Night… Obama Night… Website’s crashed… Down for the night…

Oh… (repeat Obama Chorus)

Watch the “almost” Son of Barack Obama all the way to the end.

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Ho! Ho! Ho! – “ObamaCare” for “Christmas” this year.

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

Posted in uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 28, 2013 by andelino

Happy Thanksgivukkah 02“Thanksgiving” and “Hanukkah” will fall on the “same day” this year which won’t happen “again” for another 79,000 years.

It’s a turkey. It’s a menorah. It’s Thanksgivukkah!

For many Jewish Americans, this is no “trivial” convergence, but a “once-in-an-eternity” opportunity to simultaneously “celebrate” two favorite holidays, one quintessentially “American,” the other quintessentially “Jewish.”

This extremely “rare” convergence of Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah has created a frenzy of “Talmudic” proportions.

The next time Jews may “light their candles” will be from the outer “galactic” sphere in the year of 79,811.

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How did this happened?

Thanksgiving is set as the fourth Thursday in November, meaning the latest it can be is November 28th.

November 28th is also the earliest Hanukkah can be.

The Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle.

You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19×7 = 133 years.

Looking back, the last time it would have happened is 1861.

However, Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863.

So, it has never happened before. Why won’t it ever happen again?

The reason is because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years

Not bad for a many centuries old calendar!

This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as November 28th, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is November 29th.

The last time Hanukkah falls on November 28th is in the year of 2146, which happens to be a Monday.

Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah will ever overlap with Thanksgiving.

Of course, if the “Jewish calendar” is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the “Gregorian calendar”, until it loops all the way back to where it is now.

So, Hanukkah would again fall on Thursday, November 28th in the year of 79,811.

And then there is the commerce.

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Manhattan fourth-grader Asher Weintraub alongside his Menurkey prototype.

9-year-old Asher Weintraub of Brooklyn, N.Y. invented the “Menurkey”  a turkey-shaped “Menorah” or “Hanukkah Candelabra.”

He raised over $48,000 by selling more than 1500 of his trademarked, turkey-shaped “Menorah’s.”

Then there are the Woodstock-inspired T-shirts which have a turkey perched on the neck of a guitar imploring “8 Days of Light, Liberty & Latkes.”

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Jewish cooks have created recipes for everything from pumpkin latkes, Hanukkah’s signature potato pancake, to turkey brined in Manischewitz, the syrupy kosher wine Jewish Americans love to make fun of but drink anyway.

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Songs have also popped up with lyrics like “The Ballad of Thanksgivukkah” which manages to rhyme “latkes” with “religious minorities.”

When Rabbi David Paskin, a congregational rabbi outside of Boston and the co-head of Kehillat Schechter Academy, heard that Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah would fall on the same day this year, he knew it was a chance for families to have fun.

But he also saw it as an educational moment to shine a light on the value of religious freedom that is at the core of both holidays.

So, the singing Rabbi composed a lighthearted rhyming song to help celebrate the special occasion as he and a few other troubadours kids race through the stairwells of his school singing about latkes, cranberries, Pilgrims, Native Americans, dreidels and the Hasmonean dynasty.

“It’s only in America, where we have this religious freedom, we can shout out loud about this moment in time,” Paskin said.

Let’s not forget the food mash-ups commemorating the staying power of the Pilgrims and the fighting prowess of the Jews, along with the miracle of one night’s oil lasting eight days.

Pumpkin latkes, apple-cranberry sauce and deep-fried turkey, anyone?

“It’s pretty amazing to me that in this country we can have rich secular and rich religious celebrations and that those of us who live in both worlds can find moments when they meet and can really celebrate that convergence.”

“There are a lot of places in the world where we would not be able to do that,” Paskin said.

“It’s an opportunity for us to really celebrate the Jewish American experience, and to give thanks in America for the religious freedom we enjoy here, and for making the Jewish American experience possible.”

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A Thanksgivukkah card celebrating Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

Thanksgivukkah – Once in a lifetime

Kickstarter: A menorah + turkey combination celebrating the once in an eternity event

The Turkey-shaped menorah

Eight Hanukkah Nights

Posted in sex with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2012 by andelino

Hanukkah Sex

Hanukkah, the Jewish “Festival of Lights,” and the American commercial equivalent of “Christmas,” is upon us.

Starting at sunset on December 8, Jews around the world will celebrate with “eight” nights of candles, deep-fried potato pancakes, games of dreidel and gifts only added to American Hanukkah in the first place, so that kids wouldn’t feel left out of all the Christmas money-spending insanity.

These “eight” nights are great for quality “family” time — and pulling that DIY menorah you made during your fifth-grade Hebrew school class out of the basement — but they’re also as good an excuse as any to have some more R-rated fun after said family time ends.

In the event that you have some room for “sexy” times during Hanukkah, make sure to follow these eight, clearly very “scientific” suggestions.

hanukkah first nightDay 1. Use your menorah to produce some romantic mood lighting. Since every night you add a candle, each night the lighting will change.

 

hanukkah second nightDay 2. Always have sex before you make the latkes. Or at least make sure your hands and clothing are free of deep-fried residue before you go at it.

 

hanukkah third nightDay 3. Play strip spin the dreidel. The Hebrew letter Gimel means take off all your clothes, Shin means put your clothing back on, Hei means take off half of your clothing and Nun means do absolutely nothing.

 

hanukkah fourth nightDay 4. Use non-cooking oil in bed — to give your partner a massage. The oil probably won’t last for eight days, but it will still be good holiday fun.

 

 

hanukkah fifth nightDay 5. Find a way to incorporate chocolate gelt into your sex life every day of the holiday. Chocolate is an alleged aphrodisiac, after all.

 

hanukkah sixth nightDay 6. Give your partner a gift each night … preferably ones that can be purchased at Babeland or the like.

 

 

 

hanukkah seventh nightDay 7. If you’re having sex for one, make sure to get some fantasy inspiration from the 2013 “Nice Jewish Guys” calendar. Your mom would be so proud.

 

hanukkah eight nightDay 8. Instead of smoking a postcoital cigarette, which I do not, in any way, encourage, eat a postcoital jelly donut. Way more delicious.

 

I definitively need to “convert” to Judaism! Although at this point in my life I think “eight” nights in a row would indeed be a miraculous “Hanukkah” blessing.

Shalom…

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