I know that married life, even in a new city, is supposed to be unremittingly perfect, as is Hanukkah, but I feel that Hanukkah kind of sucked this year, and not only for me. Here are a few gems:
--TH had to work late (didn't get home until 9:00 or 10:00) almost every night this week. On our first Hanukkah as a married couple, we lit candles together only three times. We will not light candles together tonight, either.
--I was allergic to my Hanukkah present from my parents, because it contained wool (but I was fortunate in that the store took it back, and I ordered something else, and my folks were very nice about it).
--My husband's aunt, who is very nice but not Jewish, and who threw a lovely Hanukkah party for the family this year, hung Buddhist good luck charms from her Hanukkiah and told us about it. I thought I might be halakhically required to leave the room, but since she doesn't actually believe in Buddha, I think it was fine from that perspective. But, seriously?
--On a related note, DOES NO ONE UNDERSTAND that Hanukkah is (or at least was, historically) about anti-assimilationism? Does anyone else think it ironic that this is the holiday so many Jews are so keen to turn into a goyish extravaganza?
-- More than a couple of Jews I know either told me directly or posted on Facebook that they were not lighting candles this year because: 1) they are two busy; and/or 2) they forgot to buy candles. Really, Jews? Hanukkah is pretty much the least demanding holiday on the Jewish calendar, and you can't even do that?
--A Hanukkiah (8 branches, plus shamash) is NOT the same thing as a menorah (6 branches, plus shamash). Learn it!
--Some super-frum idiots in Flatbush left their Hanukkiah burning in a house without smoke detectors, and now their little girl is severely burned and fighting for her life. This is not the only story of Hanukkiah-caused fires in New York's ultra-Orthodox community this year. So some genius rabbeim had the great idea to issue a p'sak that you CAN extinguish your Hanukkiah when you leave your house, as long as the candles have burned for 30 minutes. If you're so infallible, rabbis, why didn't you issue this p'sak BEFORE all these accidents happened?
--A major Jewish sex scandal is about to break in The New York Times tomorrow. How awesome for the Jews.
--Someone stole the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from Auschwitz this morning. To paraphrase something my father said in 1972 about the terror at the Munich Olympics, We remember at time when there was pretty good security at that camp.