Caresse Jackman

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Once In A Lifetime: Jewish Population Prepares For ‘Thanksgivukkah’

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Some are calling it “Hanugiving” others “Thanksgivukkah.” Regardless, it’s one in a million. This year, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall under the same day, which hasn’t happened since the late 19th century.

Seth Oppenheimer is the student Rabbi for B’Nai Israel in Columbus.

“Hanukkah is a story of the rebellion of the Jewish people within the land of Israel. They were under the Seleucid Empire which was one of the successors to Alexander the Great. And the emperor at the time, Antiochus IV declared that every one had to worship exactly the same way. So, there was a rebellion and Hanukkah is a celebration of rededicating the temple after it had been trashed and pigs had been sacrificed. The miracle associated with that is the Menorah was suppose to always be burning and there was one one vile of oil left and it should have only lasted one day but the story goes it lasted 8 days,” said Oppenheimer.

Typically Hanukkah doesn’t happen until December. But 2013 is a leap year on the Jewish Calendar, which means an entire extra month is added, moving most major Jewish holidays up by a month. Oppenheimer says both holidays have one significant element.

“Thanksgiving is a harvest festival. And as with all harvest festivals you become grateful, you’re thankful for all of your blessing and the gifts you’ve received. And certainly that was true of the pilgrims that were starving up to that point and it was true for the Jews once they won their freedom,” said Oppenheimer.

So how does Oppenheimer plan to celebrate his Thanksgivukkah?

“I’ll light candles for Hanukkah each evening and increase them every night and say the proper blessings. But thanksgiving is thanksgiving so I will be eating Turkey and going to football, watching football (laughs) and things like that,” said Oppenheimer.

As far as the next one, you probably won’t be alive to see it. Experts say it won’t happen again for another 70,000 years.