KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Talk about a food coma! Chanukah has not fallen on Thanksgiving Eve since 1888. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience for Jewish people all over the world.
“The menu was fun to do this year. Normally I do two sweet potato pies, this year I’m only doing one because we have the latkas,” says Leslie Kulick. “So this year we’ll have latkas, mashed potatoes, and sweet potato pie.”
“We made a little menorah out of pumpkins to celebrate the two holidays coinciding,” says Rachel Krantz.
Jewish families all over are doing “Thanksgivicah” their own way.
“I got to use both of my decorations at the same time,” said Kulick.
“It’s just more to celebrate and it makes it very special,” Krantz said.
Chanukah is typically around Christmas time.
“Later on in the year, it’s more of a commercialization, and that’s not what Chanukah is all about,” says Rabbi Mendy Wineberg. He says there’s any easy explanation for this.
“The Jewish calendar goes according to the lunar months,” he said. “The Gregorian calendar goes according to the solar calendar, which is 365 days a year. So the lunar calendar falls backwards. There’s a 19 year cycle, and we add a month seven times in nineteen years to keep us in season with the solar calendar.”
He also says Chanukah and Thanksgiving actually have a lot more in common than any other holiday.
“Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for the Pilgrims and they were escaping religious persecution,” he said. “Coming to a new country, gaining religious freedom, and that’s what Chanukah is all about. Chanukah is the story of a small group of people banning together to fight religious persecution.”
Many feel it’s not what you’re celebrating, it’s who you’re celebrating with.
“To be surrounded by the love of family is what’s so special,” adds Krantz.
Chanukah will not fall on Thanksgiving Eve again for 70,000 years. This confluence of holidays truly brings home the message of thanks.