Intersecting calendars can bring complications, or a fun combo of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

By Debra Israel

Hanukkah begins the evening of Sunday, Nov. 28. And while not quite the same as our historic Hanukkah/Thanksgiving confluence (which last occurred in 2013 and will not occur again until 2070), it’s still pretty close!

Personally, I love thinking about the culinary possibilities, such as enjoying my leftover cranberry dishes with latkes instead of just applesauce. I’ll make sure to keep some sweet potatoes to grate and add to the latke recipe.

This is another example of the differing paths our intersecting calendars take. The Jewish lunar calendar forms the time path for our religious celebrations and our secular, everyday calendar includes its own annual markers.

Academic calendar adds another complication

Those of us in academia also experience a third academic calendar with its own repeating cycles.

More customarily, I might grumble about conflicts among these three competing calendars. For example, I’m not happy when my spring break fails to coincide with spring break for anyone else in my family!

Or, when Yom Kippur falls on a day that is particularly full of scheduled classes and harder for me to reschedule, that’s also quite inconvenient.

Intersections can provide valuable perspective

Dr. Jedidah Isler

However, the other day I was listening to a portion of a TED talk on NPR by the astrophysicist Dr. Jedidah Isler. The way she discussed intersections really struck me.

Dr. Isler’s talk made me think about the potential intersections hold to make us look at the same thing in a different way.

So, instead of being annoyed when the intersection between a Jewish holiday and our everyday calendar changes, why not enjoy the different perspective we get?

As another example, earlier this year, Rosh Hashanah began as Labor Day was ending, bringing together two holidays that usually do not meet in space/time!

Religious school adopts CODA as fall project

The children and families of religious school hold a fundraising project each fall. This year, they’re collecting for the Council on Domestic Abuse (CODA).

We’ll be leaving a tzedakah collection box out at the Temple if you would like to contribute.

You may also conveniently donate online. Just let us know after you make your donation so we can see our overall impact.

In the meantime, Happy Hanukkah to everybody!

Debra Israel is a member of the United Hebrew Congregation Terre Haute board.

Thanksgivukkah image courtesy

Latke image courtesy emojidex.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments