I’m pretty sure my family coined the term Christmukkah. We were interfaith hipsters, once we realized that the alternative, Festivus, wasn’t really for the restofus.
Growing up in the Reform community in the US in the 50s and 60s, I remember the constant discussions of the Chanukah-Christmas dilemma. Was it possible to disengage Chanukah from the seasonal linkage to Christmas, and keep it somehow true to its roots? Or was it doomed to be "the Jewish answer to Christmas," which increasingly meant an orgy of shopping and materialism?
Last year our education center at Shorashim was asked by a high school in Haifa to help the staff there produce a day-long seminar for the 400 eleventh graders on Jewish pluralism and on what is shared – and what are the conflicts – among the various "streams" of Judaism.
I broke my wrist. Bummer. Major bummer. I didn’t do it with any kind of grace or with anything close to a great story attached to it. I tripped over a curb at the Mobile station. Great story. Did I mention I broke my right wrist, and that I am right-handed?
Last month I visited Beit Shemesh, a city less than an hour’s drive from Jerusalem. We had read about some of the most noteworthy incidents there, such as when a young girl was spat on by an ultra-Orthodox extremist on her way to school.
During the height of the recession, I moved to Switzerland. I had already lived in France, Japan, India and Israel, and traveled much of the rest of the world.
"Folk song calls the native back to his roots and prepares him emotionally to dance, worship, work, fight, or make love in ways normal to his place." Alan Lomax, Folk Songs of North America