Today is Thanksgiving, the day Americans pause to give thanks for the many blessings we receive throughout the year.
Due to a strange glitch in the alignment of the lunar and solar calendars, it’s also the first day of Hanukkah–a holiday that more often aligns with the Christmas season.
Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of good over evil: the victory of the Maccabees over the Assyrians in their quest to maintain religious freedom. Throughout the last half century, Hanukkah has been subject to the same commercialization as Christmas, resulting in a similar focus on shopping and gifts rather than the true meaning of the holiday.
However, the word “Hanukkah” means rededication. In the original context, following the battle of the Maccabees, enough oil was found to rededicate the lamp in the Holy Temple and last 8 days until more oil could be found. This has translated to the tradition of eating foods fried in oil, such as potato latkes and doughnuts.
Today we have a unique opportunity to not only give thanks in the traditional sense, but to rededicate ourselves to what’s good and right in our lives, as well as to work to help repair what’s NOT right in the world.
Whatever your religious background, take time to mix a helping of rededication with your Thanksgiving celebration today.
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