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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Heart to Heart with Thanksgivukkah

The origins of Thanksgivukkah - the only one we'll experience in our lifetimes - and back to our roots with "Heart to Heart".

Everybody knows that the Hebrew word for "thanks" and "turkey' are the same word, "Hodu" is the Hebrew word both for the idea of to give thanks (Hodu l'Adonai ki tov, ki l'olam chasdo) and the word for turkey (the bird Americans traditionally eat at their Thanksgiving meal), AND it's what Israelis call the country of India (Hodu), AND, in one of the most famous linguistic ironies in history, Native Americans (who played the starring role as savior and deliverer of the hapless and starving Europeans who showed up on their shores) were called "Indians," because of course North America is what the European explorers ran into when trying to sail west to the Far East. 

Thanksgivukkah also comes at a time in the Torah Parsha that a feast is discussed (Yosef's brothers sat down to eat after they threw him in the pit, thousands of years later the Jewish people would find themselves in peril from the result of another feast - hence the story of Purim) and that a famine causes starvation, and a wise ruler (Yosef) manages resources to save his family and in fact the nation itself. 

This week American Jews who gather for Thanksgiving will be sitting down to a feast in the midst of great peril (never has it been more obvious that our government is not our protection) and the publicity that Thanksgivvukah has already generated will make even the most non-affiliated, non-connected Jew want to light Chanukah candles at dusk (probably an hour or two after sitting down to the gigantic meal) and by the lighting of Chanukah candles in the environment of food, family and culturally institutionalized gratitude, some actual REAL spark of Thanksgiving will ignite the hearts of the American Jewish people, who will begin to burn with a holy fire of love and brother/sisterhood for their fellow Jews and their fellow Humans of all kinds - gratitude produces praise, and it is known that HaShem is enthroned upon the praises of His People. So when else do we "enthrone" HaShem - Rosh HaShannah, right? It's ALL CONNECTED, there are no calendar accidents, time itself is a sacred lesson, and "once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right."

 Thanksgivvukah will be, in my opinion, the spark that ignites Neshamot whose flames have been snuffed down to mere embers by the burden of gashmi golus for so long.

With that in mind, we're relaunching "Heart to Heart with Lorelai," Thursday at 6pm Israel time / 8am California time. "Heart to Heart" is Lorelai's eclectic half-hour showcase for intimate interviews with passionate people. 

What's the criteria? "I'm always looking for people who "twinkle" at me because they're doing something they're passionate about, something meaningful, something that imbues them with vitality."(Lorelai).

WENDY KENIN is Lorelai's first guest on "Heart to Heart" - Thursday November 29th, 6pm Israel time / 8am California time. Wendy is founder of Imeinu Doulas and the Young Urban Moshav. She's also a passionate advocate for Jewish women, the rights of indigenous peoples, and the environment. Find out more about why Wendy "twinkles" and in fact, shines (apropos of Chanukkah, and both Lorelai AND Wendy are Kislev babies!)

See how everything is connected? :)

Connect with us on Thursdays - Right after "Temple Talk" at 5pm Israel time, "Heart to Heart with Lorelai" at 6pm Israel time, it's a great way to ease our way into what later becomes "Cookin' for Shabbos with Steve Levine" at 10pm Israel time ... just more of our great programming - the best music, talk & Torah 24/6 from Jerusalem (and Berkeley) to the World!

To listen to "Heart to Heart" - Interview with Wendy Kenin on-Demand CLICK HERE