By Jennifer Pallay
Published by The Times of Northwest Indiana – November 24, 2013
For the first time in 125 years, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap this year, creating an opportunity to combine traditions for American Jewish families.
Mordechai Levin, the rabbi of Congregation Beth Israel in Munster, said, “American Jews love Thanksgiving because it is the holiday that people of different faiths, ethnic and cultural origins can share and appreciate, since we all have collective and personal reasons to give thanks.”
Hanukkah is another favorite holiday, he said because it “is the festival which celebrates the restoration of Jewish religious and political independence in the land of Israel about 2,200 years ago. During this holiday, we commemorate the triumph of our ancestors over the Greek forces that occupied Israel. They rebelled against the Greeks, liberated the land of Israel, recovered Jewish independence, and rededicated the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem that had been defiled.”
He said that with Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlapping this year, it will make it easier for families and friends to meet.
“This year presents the opportunity to simultaneously celebrate two favorite holidays,” he said.