As I've mentioned, we've been baking all day...



Unfortunate bottle location or secret ingredient??

Delicious pictures )
Dear Santa,

What up, yo? Sorry it's been so long since I last wrote to you. In regards to my last letter, please be assured I'm not bitter that you never brought me that My Little Pony flutter pony I asked for. I get it. You gotta take care of your own people, and times were tough back in the '80s.

I have a problem, Santa, and that's why I'm writing you now. I'm hoping you can help me. Remember back 20 years ago or so when Christmas was confined to just Decemeber? Then it started leaking into "after Thanksgiving," and that was all right, I guess, though I do get really tired of people asking me "so are you ready for Christmas?" ("Yup." I reply. Ready to watch a movie and eat sushi? Sure am.)

But now, Santa, Christmas is starting in September! September!! This has to be hard on you and the elves. It's added to your production time, and it gives kids more time to add to their lists. Frankly, it makes everyone cranky by the time December finally gets here because they're so sick of hearing "Christmas is coming! Are you ready! Christmas is coming!" for months on end. They're fed up. There's only so much Christmas the world can take, Santa. It's too much.

So I'm writing you today to ask, could we cut it back, please? Could you make everyone agree not to mention Christmas until mid-November maybe? That would be swell. Thanks Santa. Give the reindeer a hug for me.


Describe your holiday decorating techniques.

Um...minimalist? Actually, Hannukah is the only holiday I do decorate for -- besides my birthday of course. My birthday is a major holiday.

I tape all the holiday cards I receive to the window seat. When Hannukah begins I bring the menorah down and it stays in the kitchen for 8 days; of course I light the appropriate number of candles each night.

Aaaaaaaaaand that's the extent of my holiday decorating.



I went over after work and lit the lights and sang the prayers with Carlette and Nick. Well, Nick pretty much just paused MegaMan for us.


There was talk of playing dreidel for minimarshmallows, but that never came to fruition.


Bea was overwhelmed by all the Jewishness.
The Easter Bunny Elijah came by and brought presents for Carlette and me while we were out today!

Thank you, Easter Bunny Elijah! ^_^

You are too, too nice. I wish I could hug you. Or could have seen you. You know, if you weren't all invisible and shit.
From my father:


And as a bonus, other Passover funnies I've posted in the past:

Who Let the Jews Out?

Matzah by JibJab

The Matzah Song, to the tune of The Llama Song

Here's a matzah, there's a matzah, and another little matzah.
Flata matzah, crunchy matzah, matzah matzah, Fish.

Matza Matza, Marror Matza,
Red Wine, Egg, Charoset, Matzah
Matzah Matzah, Chicken Matzah
matzah matzah fish.

I was one a slave, I lived in Egypt
But I never liked the way we would all get whipped.

I was only three years old and I never rode a bus,
Come on listen little child of our exodus.

Did you ever bake a matzah, eat a matzah, break a matzah,
matza matza taste of matza, matza matza fish

Half a matza, twice the matza,
Not a matzah, Shmurah matzah
matza in a box, a matzah
Dunk a matza, fish

Has it all been told now, Was Reb Eliezer all so old
Is it made of shmurah meal? it will not grow mold,
Now my Matza's getting thin and I must go pish,
time for me to retire now and become a fish.
Thank you so much to everyone who sent me Valentinrs yesterday, anonymous and signed ^_^ They were very sweet, and I enjoyed them muchly!!!

Thank you to [ profile] octavialuna and [ profile] koskalaka for the sweet card!!

Thank you so much to [ profile] xoraclex and Nick for the awesome homemade cards! I didn't find them until this morning, but they were so wonderful! They made me smile so much ^_^

Bonus link: GIANT Cadbury Creme Egg!!
Miscellaneous Hannukah thoughts and musings:

I posted this one last year. It explains why Hannukah is at the time of the year that it is, and compares it to Yule:

"Chanoeka, like all Jewish holidays, has many layers and meanings.

On a spiritual level, Chanoekah is a wish for and a celebration of the
returning light. Chanoeka begins on the 25th day of Kislev, a time of
both the dark of the sun and the dark of the moon. Arthur Waskow
writes in Seasons of Our Joy, “By the twenty-fifth of every lunar
month, the moon has gone into exile. The nights are dark, and getting
darker. And late in Kislev, we are close to the moment of the winter
solstice---when the sun is also in exile. The day is at its shortest
and the night at its longest, before the sunlight begins to return. It
is the darkest moment of the year, the moment when it is easiest to
believe that the light will never return, the moment when it is
easiest to feel despair.” As we add candles to the chanoekiah
(menorah), we both wish for and mark the returning light. By the last
night of Chanoekah, the moon has returned, and soon the sun will
return as well, bringing longer days. “And night after night, we make
our way into, through, and out of the darkness of the sun and the
moon. We experience and feel the turn toward light from the moment of
darkness...” By saying this, I in no way want to say that darkness is
bad. We need this time of darkness. Winter is a time of resting and
turning inward, making ready for the spring, for plants, animals, and
people alike. But in these dark days, with the sun setting in the
early afternoon, we need a festival of light. “It is only by
recognizing the season of darkness that we know it is time to light
the candles, to sow a seed of light that can sprout and spring forth
later in the year.
read the rest )

From the book Hannukah: The Family Guide to Spiritual Celebration by Dr. Ron Wolfson:

"As I reflect on my December dilemma experiences while growing up, I realize that Christmas was an important influence in my developing self-definition as a Jew. From the difficulty of understanding that Christmas was something I couldn't have, to the shaping of my identity as being different of most other people, to the assertion during my high school years that being different was something to be proud of, it is clear that Christmas heightens the awareness of one's Jewishness almost as much as any single Jewish holiday...

Hannukah celebrates the rescue of Judaism itself from the clutches of cultural assimilation. The ruling Syrian-Greeks sought to eliminate Judaism by encouraging Jews to give up their Jewish identities, primarily by attracting them with the enticements of the Hellenistic civilization. In our own day, living in a completely open society, we too must battle the forces of cultural assimilation to retain our Jewish identities. That is why so many Jews abhor the introduction of Christmas into the public arena and even into the Jewish family itself. That is why the lesson of Hannukah - to fight for the right to be different, to fight for religious freedom - is so important today. That is why Hannukah ought to be one of the most popular of Jewish holidays - but only if its true meaning and importance inform its celebration."

Interview with Rabbi Hirschfield from Beliefnet. This one's REALLY long, but really good and very much worth a read.

An Orthodox rabbi maps out a peace plan to end the war on Christmas and put the miraculous back in Hanukkah.
Interview by Alice Chasan

Holiday season 2005 brings the convergence of Christmas and Hannukah, which begins on Christmas day this year for the first time since 1959. The unusual synchronicity highlights a perennial American debate about whether Christmas is under siege by the politically correct and the radical secularists. Jews, too, get caught in the seasonal crossfire: Do they need to deny the culture's near-saturation Christmas consciousness to celebrate their own winter holiday? Beliefnet senior editor Alice Chasan recently spoke to Bradley Hirschfield, an Orthodox rabbi and vice president of CLAL, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, about his road map for peace in the "Christmas Wars."

Why is there more talk each year about this being a season where our holidays are "under siege"?

The "war on Christmas" language - and you hear that language much more from the Christian world than from the Jewish world - I'm actually sympathetic to it. Not because I think there's an actual war on Christmas; I do think that there is a kind of bankruptcy to political correctness that tells people to call 12-foot blue spruces covered with ornaments, crystals, and lights a "holiday tree." That's ridiculous, because it just begs the question: What holiday? Christmas!

It's crazy. Because that's not a war on Christmas. In the desire not to say anything hurtful, which was the beautiful motivation behind political correctness, we've gotten carried away. The price we pay for not saying anything hurtful is not saying anything meaningful at all. So they're right in saying, "Stop telling me I have to call that a 'holiday tree.' That is offensive." It is offensive. Unless you want to call it a holiday tree because you like the observance without the holiday. That's another question: It is a holiday tree for a whole lot of people who say, "I have no interest in Christmas, but what a beautiful thing to put colored lights in my house."

As a rabbi, do you have a problem with a Jew who wants to do that?

If someone said to me, "I really think that's going to be the be all and end all of the future of the Jewish people," I would say they're crazy. We have the exact same ritual, except with candles. It's the coldest, darkest time of the year, so these traditions say to their adherents, you can make it light.

There is nothing more fraught for Jews than to bring one of "those trees" into a Jewish home. Why?

It is beautiful. My guess is that in the past, most Jews didn�t know how to make Hanukkah as beautiful as those trees. And so the only commandments left for the season were, don't do what the Christians do, and don't believe what Christians believe.

I remember asking for a Christmas tree. The more we wanted a Christmas tree, the more two things happened: the more our parents took us around to see other people's and the more important Hanukkah became in our house. The impulse is a great impulse. It's just that most parents didn't know what to do with it; they couldn't imagine doing up Hanukkah really big, so the only thing they could think to do is to say no.

And what about the fact that the trees are pagan rather than Christian?

What does that "actually" mean? Hanukkah menorahs are actually Zoroastrian. Tefillin [two wooden boxes, containing parchment scrolls with verses from Exodus and Deutoronomy, one worn on the head and the other on the arm of observant Jews when reciting morning prayers] are actually Canaanite. Everything has its roots in something else.

read the rest of the interview )

From The Dayton Daily News: "And, in a poll released earlier this week, 47 percent said the least-favorite gift would be a donation to charity made in their name."

That's too damn bad, cause that's all I'm giving.



September 2010



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