Hybridization: Chanukkah/Miketz 5774 by Cantor Lipp

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 10:38am -- AJ Blog
I was teaching Melton a few weeks back and discussing Simchat Torah which is a hybrid holiday of sorts. I asked the class to tell me what a hybrid holiday was to them. The first answer was, “Anytime I go to shul in my Prius.”


So I thought I would analyze some of the Portmanteaus of the once in a lifetime mash up of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving.

1. ThanksChanukkah. Not bad in that it honors the accentuation of both days,ThanksGIVing and CHA-nukkah. My main objection to this one is that it seems unfair --Chanukkah gets full play and Thanksgiving has to give up two syllables.

2. ThankSukkah. This one is quite clever, really. It acknowledges the historic debt ofChanukkah to Sukkot as the Maccabees celebrated the Tabernacle festival as the first Chanukkah. Further, it highlights the debt of Thanksgiving to Sukkot as well being the American version of the Biblical harvest holiday. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same problem of the former. Here, Thanksgiving is so consumed by Chanukkah that even the accentuation of the word is altered to that of the Festival of Lights.

3. Changiving or Changivikkah. Here the problem is the accentuation. Unless you’re going to pronounce this in Israeli style ChanuKKAH with the accent at the end there is an accentuation clash as the American pronunciation of Chanukkah is the first syllable andThanksgiving is the second. 

4. Thanksgivikkah. What I love about this one is that the accentuation of both is honored, both words have to ‘give something up’ and the Give propels us rhythmically to the end. It’s a true expression of the idea that the collaboration of these two holidays is greater than the sum of their turkeys and latkes.

I’ve been listening to a Teaching Company series on global warming which stated that the average human body generates 100 Watts whereas the average global human consumes around 2000. We Americans, of course, consume far more, around 10,000 Watts. My wife recently said she likes to review each day and hopes and prays she was able to give more than she consumed.

Perhaps the portmanteau of Thanksgivikkah can remind us to be thankful for what we have and rededicate ourselves to pay forward even more.

Driving to shul in a Prius is certainly a start.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Hanukkah. 

David Lipp