The Public Eye

printed 12/20/2019

...and Happy Hanukkah.

The venting about the invented happy holidays argument and whatnot on the other side of this page ran too long to include the above.

That bothered me, because Hanukkah begins Sunday evening.

The Jewish celebration of the Festival of Lights, as it is also known, runs for eight days, symbolizing how long the Maccabees were able to light the menorah, despite having only enough oil to keep it lit for one day.

That came after the Jewish rebels under Judah Maccabee trounced the Syrian Greeks, who attempted to force them from the temple in Jerusalem.

I don’t pretend to know or understand the whole story, but I have friends and acquaintances who do.

Besides, I’ve concluded over the years that many of the differences in our religions are like an astigmatism: most people are looking at the same thing, but are seeing it differently.

And not to be disrespectful, but Hanukkah is an observance that, aside from its religious aspect, features eight days of eating fried food, which is my favorite anything.

At one time or another, I’ve tried frying whatever is available in the larder at home, from pickles — pretty good — to kale — not bad — to Easter eggs — that’s just stupid.

Traditionally, crispy potato pancakes, or latkes, are on the Hanukkah menu, and because they are, 1. fried, 2. potatoes, and 3. may be accompanied by the also traditional jelly doughnuts, it occurs to me that embracing more than one tradition is the right thing to do.

Being a universal type of person, and in deference to all my friends on both sides of the holiday aisle, I’m going to add those eight days of Hanukkah to the 12 days of Christmas, and begin the new year with 16 days of extra weight to throw around.

So, in the spirit of the holidays, both Christian and Jewish, I’d like to wish everyone the opportunity to celebrate whatever they want, however they want.

As for me, I’m thinking the perfect holiday sandwich is turkey between two latkes, with a jelly doughnut on the side.

Happy, happy.

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