What religious holiday did Jesus celebrate that isn't initiated in scripture?
Hint: It's not Christmas.
That's right it's Hanukah!
Since I've been doing a set of BJW's for Christmas, and since I officially have 3 Jewish readers now, I think I should give them a little BJW Hanukah Cheer!
Top 10 reasons to like Hanukkah
10. No roof damage from reindeer
9. Never a silent night when you're among your Jewish loved ones
8. If someone screws up on their gift, there are seven more days to correct it
7. Betting Hanukkah gelt (the chocholate coins) on candle races
6. You can use your fireplace
5. Naked spin-the-dreidel games
4. Fun waxy buildup on the menorah
3. No awkward explanations of virgin birth
2. Cheer optional
1. No Irving Berlin songs
(FWIW, Irving Berlin born Israel Isidore Beilin, was a Jew)
There is a Rock'n Hanukkah song!
Last year, just before Hanukkah, Miriam, a grandmother was giving directions to her grown up grandson who was coming to visit with his wife. 'You come to the front door of the condominium complex. I am in apartment 2B.'
Miriam continued, 'There is a big panel at the door. With your elbow push button 2B. I will buzz you in. Come inside, the elevator is on the right. Get in, and with your elbow hit 2. When you get out I am on the left. With your elbow, hit my doorbell.'
'Grandma, that sounds easy,' replied Jonathan, the grandson, 'but why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow.'
To which she answered, 'You're coming to visit empty handed?'
Mary goes to the post office to buy stamps for her Hanukkah cards and she says to the cashier, 'May I have 50 Hanukkah stamps?'
The cashier says, 'What denomination?'
Miriam says, 'Oy vey, has it come to this? OK, give me 6 Orthodox, 12 Conservative, and 32 Reform.'
Rudi, The Village Rabbi:
It was Hanukkah and the tiny village outside Budapest in Hungary was frightened that they may not have any latkes [pancakes] because they had run out of potatoes.
Rudi, the Rabbi, was called upon to help solve the problem. He said, 'Don't worry, you can substitute matzo meal for the flour, and the latkes will be just as delicious.'
Sarah looks to her husband and says, 'Samuel, you think it'll work?'
'Of course,' Samuel replies, 'Everybody knows Rudolph the Rab knows grain, dear.'
OY! Almost forgot, Another Hanukkah Song Part II
Xmas vrs. Chanukah
Now, if anyone asks you what the difference is between Xmas and Chanukah, you will know what and how to answer!
1. Xmas is one day, same day every year, December 25.
Jews also love December 25th. It's another paid day off work. We go to movies and out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure.
Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don't look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher, or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida) or other Jewish funeral home.
2. Christmas is a major holiday.
Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat.
3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos...
Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam, which looks impressive on the bookshelf.
4. There is only one way to spell Christmas.
No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, etc, so even if you are an illiterate klutz you can't go wrong.
5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.
6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills.
Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.
7. Christmas carols are beautiful...Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful....
Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don't Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?
8. A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful from sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking.
A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes, and onions. Jews burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkes on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through the ages. Unless of course you are in Israel where they celebrate by eating inedible cherry donuts call sufganiot.
9. Parents deliver presents to their children during Christmas.
Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.
10. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary and Joseph.
The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus, Judah Maccabee, and Matta-whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history.
11. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized.
We save money on Chanukah, less gifts to buy, less to return, less junk to deal with, easier to sleep with.
Better to stick with Chanukah!
Chanukah Songs that Never Quite Caught On
Oy to the World
Schlepping through a Winter Wonderland
Hava Negilah - The Megamix
Bubbie Yetta Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Enough with those facackennah Jingle Bells Already... Sheez!
Matzo Man (by the Lower East Side Village People)
I Have a Little Dreidel (the Barking Dog Version)