I get asked a lot if I’m “half.” Often, people are referring to my mixed Caucasian and Asian American heritage, their curiosity sparked by my Korean last name on my Jewish business card or by whatever other seeming tip arises on a given day.
I grew up loving this holiday – until I learned the dark side and felt like a kid discovering that there’s no Santa Claus. It turns out Hanukkah is, in part, a tale of Jew vs. Jew.
According to Rashi, we light Hanukkah candles to “publicize the miracle.” What exactly is the miracle we’re publicizing – and what’s the best way for us to do so today?
Beyond the rusty orange leaves, the sky hugging the orchard flourished in pastel blue – a hue that surprisingly didn’t define my mood while stretched out upon the grass, head nestled in interlocked palms that sweet October day.
Sometimes we create our own traditions, sometimes we carry on a tradition we inherit, and sometimes a tradition can come from unexpected places.
Now that my daughter is in preschool, I've come to realize that hearing about cultural and religious practices directly from the practitioners only emphasizes our otherness.
The challenges and contradictions of being a Jew in America are never more obvious than in the month of December. Christmas is unavoidable from before Thanksgiving until well after New Year's. Every year, I wonder how much I should participate in the hoopla.