The Shmooze

The Ballad of Thanksgivukkah

By JTA

  • Print
  • Share Share

When Rabbi David Paskin, a congregational rabbi outside of Boston and the co-head of Kehillat Schechter Academy, heard that Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah would fall on the same day this year, he knew it was a chance for families to have fun. But he also saw it as a moment to shine a light on the value of religious freedom that is at the core of both holidays.

So, the singing rabbi composed a song to help celebrate and educate. Late last week, he posted a music video of the lighthearted rhyming number that follows him and a few other troubadours racing through the stairwells of his school singing out with all the kids about latkes, cranberries, Pilgrims, Native Americans, dreidels and the Hasmonean dynasty.

“It’s only in America, where we have this religious freedom, we can shout out loud about this moment in time,” Paskin tells JTA. Thanksgivukkah, as the confluence of the two holidays has now been dubbed, last occurred in 1888 and may not happen again for 79,043 years. Everyone from Stephen Colbert to Buzzfeed seems to have something to say about the unique happening.

It all strikes a personal chord for Paskin, who says he’s reminded of a teaching from Abraham Joshua Heschel to look at the world with radical amazement. “These holidays are celebrations of tremendous blessings we’ve been given and gifts we’ve received from God,” he says. “If I put on my secular hat, they’re gifts from our country and from each and every person.”

“This is yet another opportunity to look beyond what divides us, and be grateful for what unites us. If ever two holidays that are about this, it’s Chanukah and Thanksgiving.”

(The lyrics to “The Ballad of Thanksgivukkah,” can be found here.)

Here’s a preview:


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: thanksgivukkah, david paskin, ballad, thanksgivukkah2, video

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • Are Michelangelo's paintings anti-Semitic? Meet the Jews of the Sistine Chapel: http://jd.fo/i4UDl
  • What does the Israel-Hamas war look like through Haredi eyes?
  • Was Israel really shocked to find there are networks of tunnels under Gaza?
  • “Going to Berlin, I had a sense of something waiting there for me. I was searching for something and felt I could unlock it by walking the streets where my grandfather walked and where my father grew up.”
  • How can 3 contradictory theories of Yiddish co-exist? Share this with Yiddish lovers!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.