Earth Day. April 22. I remember the first one, way back in 1970, when I was working for an environmental regulatory authority (my one stint working for the government). Now the celebration is held around the world (some 193 countries and growing).
Tonight is the first night of Chanuka. That means it is the 25th of Kislev. (It is also the day our family traditionally celebrated my grandfather’s birthday- who only knew his birthday was on Chanuka.) The holiday of Chanuka is NOT the same as Christmas, even though the Christians adopted the 25th for their celebration.
Today we recognize the abundance afforded us. Of course, many of us have still not recovered from the Great Recession (yeah, like the whole Middle Class). But, being the optimistic people we are, we are still bound and determined to celebrate Thanksgiving. Many of us are also bound and determined to wait on line for interminable duration just to score that one sale item.
Tonight is the start of a most unusual holiday. This is the last one that requires me not to work until April. (Good. Now, I can make some money!) The Tora gives us very little clue about this holiday and its requirements. It’s simply called the Eighth Day of Assembly (Shmini Atzeret).
Today is a holiday. The second day of Purim (“Lots”). My family has always celebrated Shushan Purim, the name for the second day; most Ashkenazi Jews only celebrate it, if they live in walled cities like Jerusalem or Quebec.) The Purim holiday celebrates the ploys of Esther (also known as Hadassah), the Jewish Queen of Babylonia, and her uncle (godfather?) Mordechai.