Thanksgiving and Thanksgetting

by Aaron under JFacts,Judaism,News

This year marks an extraordinary occurrence that many people outside of this JDate blog will likely be talking about to an annoying degree this week: the fascinating meeting of Thanksgiving and Chanukah for the first and last time in many of our lives (though I’m feeling confident about being here for Chanukah closing out Thanksgiving 2070). It’s an obvious subject for me to talk about as my blogs are posted on Thursdays, and Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this and every other year.

However, I don’t tend to enjoy the obvious topics, so you’re not about to read why you should be thankful for everything. Instead, I would like to explain a bit about why Chanukah and Thanksgiving go great together, and why Chanukah should remind us not to be complacent.

For the uninitiated, Chanukah is about a small amount of something going a long way, particularly a small amount of oil burning for eight days (though really, the miracle was the victory of the Maccabees). Making a lot of nothing is the key point of the holiday, and it emphasizes how to make the best of any situation. Fittingly, Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful for what we have and being proud of that.

Similarly, I was discussing prayer with one of the rabbis I regularly study with a few weeks back, and we went over what Jewish prayer has to consist of. It has to contain three things: praising, thanking, and requesting. We have to be grateful for all around us, even if it’s not the specific things we’ve asked for. We also thank G-d for anything we’ve gotten that we’ve wanted. And lastly, we ask for more again. The idea of wanting more always seems like such a taboo thing on Thanksgiving, we should be lucky we have what we have. But lucky for us, this year is also Chanukah, and so you can thank and praise, but don’t forget to want some more, too. Next year won’t have Chanukah and Thanksgiving meet again, but you can still ask for it to be an even better time than this year.

And of course, I wish everyone reading this a happy Chanukah and Thanksgiving, and hope you’re here with me for all the blogs ahead. Thanks for reading!

It’s Just A Ride

by SweetLo under JBloggers,Relationships,Single Life

I hooked up my GPS system this past weekend, finally. I got it over a year ago for Chanukah and it took me this long to decide to hook it up. I kept blaming the fact that I was technologically challenged for my lack of motivation to take direction, but really I had simply no desire to spend an hour fighting with the less than environmentally friendly packaging in order to expel the teeny tiny device.

About ten minutes before I had to jet out the door and vacate the val for a date I had the epiphany that this would clearly be a great time to endure the laborious process and like a little blue collar worker bee I was about to start in the field of manual labor (which is similar to cooking, I assume). I literally flew up the stairs and into my room to locate my GPS that was inevitably fossilized under a layer of dust. After butchering the box with homicidal ramgage worthy scissors I was well on my way to a happy little union of future timely arrivals. I hooked up the travel-size mapquest and was on my merry little way over the hill in the capable but ultimately annoying hands of Mandy my GPS voice guide that eventually made Fran Drescher’s seem soothing. I was instantly reminded why I never hooked this GPS POS up in the first place; because clearly I know better, so what exactly was the point?

So everytime “Mandy” (although I refuse to acknowledge her by any name until she deserves one,) told me to do something with anything less than an indoor-voice, I would blatantly disregard the instruction with all the sassiness of a rebellious teenager- just because. She said take the freeway, I took the canyon. In the midst of all the direction being shouted at me at stereo strength surround sound, I still felt lost, annoyed, and irritated. The entire situation was completely reminiscent of my less than organized love life and when it came to hearts I never played the right cards. To appease several situations my friends and I have all been seen dating med, law, and whatever other grad students that qualify them as the good on paper guys that induce nothing but the urge to yawn at the end of the night.

So, in lieu of living a lie, we always end up meeting up for drinks with the guy we swore we would never date again. The faux fantastical hipster who makes the bad boy seem good again. The entire way there your GPS is yelling “are you crazy? please make next available u-turn.” You don’t though. You keep going until you have reached your destination, and you either crash & burn, or re-route to another address. Either way, you’re still young, and just along for the ride.

Dreaming of a White Chanukah?

by JewishFactFinder under JFacts

Photo by Foxtongue

Photo by Foxtongue

Brothers George and Ira Gershwin and fellow composer and lyricist Irving Berlin, are three of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. Did you know they are all Jewish? Most people are unaware that “White Christmas,” one of the most popular Christmas songs ever, was in fact, written by Irving Berlin, a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe whose birth name was Israel Isadore Beilin. Irving Berlin also wrote other mega-famous songs such as, “God Bless America,” “Anything You can Do” and “There’s No Business (Like Show Business).”

George and Ira Gershwin (born Jacob Gershowitz and Israel Gershowitz) are brothers who co-wrote some of the most famous American compositions of the early 20th century. With George’s compositions and Ira’s lyrics, the two are responsible for landmark songs such as, “Someone to Watch Over Me,”“I Got Rhythm” and “Summertime.” The duo also co-wrote the operas Porgy and Bess and Of Thee I Sing, amongst others. George’s crowning achievement may be his amazing 1924 composition, “Rhapsody in Blue,” used notably in the title sequence of Woody Allen’s Manhattan in 1979. Unfortunately, George passed away of a brain tumor in 1937, at the age of 38, but Ira resumed his musical career a few years later and continued to write hit songs with composers Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill and Harold Arlen.