Tomorrow is the beginning of the high Holiday Chanukah, the Jewish celebration of resistance and resilience: “a small candle can go a long way”.

One of the comforts of not being committed to a religion, yet appreciative of true benign traditions, is, first, the peace of tolerance. Believe me: tolerance feels good. Second, to take advantage of ancient wisdom encoded in traditions.

I honor my Jewish ancestry as well as my Catholic grandmother. I’d like to know more about my Viking heritage, which I finally tracked down.

I believe most HIgh Holidays provide a template to reflect on something atavic to our human condition. Yom Kippur offers a time and rituals to stop and make an inventory of our damaging actions in the previous year, and take action to fix them. Christmas and Easter/Pesach offers powerful symbols to reflect on death and rebirth, on dramatic life changes and other transitions.

We don’t need to reject other people’s Holidays. They are just celebrating their tradition and when they wish you a “happy something”, they are being generous.

Let’s not be assholes.

 

What Is Hanukkah?