*Sigh*. I’m feeling depleted and defeated as we come up on this last night of the Festival of Lights. We haven’t lit the menorah on time even once, and we were so late to synagogue on Friday night we missed the mass community lighting. Maybe it’s because it snuck up on me this year being so early, but it hasn’t felt so much like a holiday as a stressful obligation where we overindulge the children and eat too much. And that sounds like the complaints I hear from non-Jewish parents about Christmas. I ask you, what’s the point of being a Jew if I have to suffer the same way the goyim do?
Even our lawn decor kinda sucked this year. Half the blue blinky lights I bought last year didn’t work (not so shocking considering I bought them at Wal-Mart) so all we had was a modest spiral up the palm tree in the front yard. But here’s irony for ya: As of today, our Jewish house is the only one with holiday lights on the block. So apparently seasonal apathy is going around all the religions, kinda like one of those viruses that jumps continents.
Fortunately, our rabbi got very into spirit this year and is displaying this 7-foot gem of inflatable Jewishness in his front yard. I’m fairly sure the other rabbis in town would like to box his ears for it, but Reb Belzer’s never been one to follow the crowd (a post to come on how he brought Mickve Israel’s awesome new addition to its museum, an 8-foot scale model of The William and Sarah, the ship the original 41 Sephardic settlers docked in Savannah in 1733.) But I have to say, he’s set the bar rather high for us outlaw Jews – what, I gotta put one of these out next year?
Anyway, I’m going to muster some true warmth and glow for the last night, no fancy food, just a last plate of latkes and friends and family. And everyone’s getting socks, like it or not.