By Rachel Skerker, Visual Editor
It hasn’t happened since 1888, and a recent calculation says that it won’t happen until 79811: the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. November 28, Thanksgiving Day, is coincidentally the first night of Hanukkah, causing American Jews to embrace both of their cultures, American and Jewish.
Dubbed “Thanksgivukkah”, the holiday has received widespread media attention and has attracted the attention of American Jews across the nation. A young boy living in New York City made thousands of dollars off of a creation, which celebrates the clash of the two holidays.
Nine year old Asher Weintraub brainstormed the idea of the “Menurkey”, in which he constructed a menorah out of clay that resembled a turkey. Weintraub began selling his Menurkeys on Kickstart.com, and has since made more than $48,345! After surpassing his goal of $25,000, he began to sell his Menurkey invention at menurkey.com for $50 each. The young entrepreneur also created the Menurkey Song (now available on iTunes), and even created an iMenurky app, in which you can “light” the candles of your Menurkey on your apple device from anywhere! His invention has attracted the attention of many all across the nation.
Along with the spreading Menurkeys, culinary websites and businesses have been advertising their special creations for the holiday including pumpkin challah bread and potato latkes with cranberry sauce. Other recipes, including recipes for manischewitz brined (a Kosher wine) roast turkey and pecan pie rugelah, have sprung across the internet as American Jews gather to discuss, on social media websites, their plans for the holidays.
The reason for this collision of holidays is due to the difference between the Jewish and Gregorian calendars. Hanukkah starts on the same day every year on the Hebrew calendar. However, since the months of the Hebrew calendar have twenty-nine or thirty days, the Jewish year falls roughly eleven days short of the 365-day Gregorian calendar. An extra “leap month” is added seven times every nineteen years, which is why Hanukkah falls so early this year.
American physicist Jonathan Mizrahi used his mathematical equations to determine the next time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah coincide with one another (following the assumption that neither calendars will be changed in between now and then). His findings say that another thanksgivukkah will only occur 77,798 years from now, in the year 79811.
Thanksgivukkah has received different reactions from American Jews across the nations. While some American Jews are excited about the approaching festivities, many are wary of the celebration of what they deem as incredibly different holidays. Some say that it is too difficult to cook one meal showcasing the two holidays, and other say that the dinner may prove to be a tedious and exhausting affair.
However, others have pointed out that in some ways, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are not so different after all. For example, Thanksgiving places an emphasis on thankfulness, which coincides with the Jewish requirement of giving tzedakeh (the Hebrew word for charity).
Dana Gitell, creator of Thanksgivukkah.com, is giving 10% of her profits from selling Thanksgiving wares to MAZON, a Jewish charity. The stories of the Maccabees and the Pilgrims are not so different in some ways. Both holidays regard religious persecution, and also bring forth primary examples of what it means to beat the odds.