2 Holidays of Freedom – Guest Post

 Hello Friends and Followers,

Today Village Drummer Fiction is re-launching its website. The website is going to be geared towards the audience of readers, rather than advice for writers. It will feature news about novels and authors, reviews, events, libraries, bargain and free book sites, and many things about reading. I  hope you enjoy our new direction.

We are also re-launching Richard Alan’s four novel series, now titled Meant to Be TogetherFinding a Soul Mate (formerly The Life of Meyer), The Couples, Finding Each Other, and Growing Together have been revised and re-edited prior to being re-issued.

More information below, but first — a fascinating look at the convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah this year.

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday Meal

MenorahHappy Hanukkah

On Thursday November 28, 2013, a unique event will be taking place. Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will start on the same day. This has never occurred before and may not again. If it does, the earliest will be in 79,000 years.  I am honored to be able to share “Reflections” from Rabbi Kuchnick, Congregation Anshai Torah, Dallas, TX.

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Hanukkah has garnered a lot of focus much earlier in the year than normal. Yes, it starts very early, but it is actually the fact that Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincide this year that has been the focus of most conversations. The first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, this is the only time it will ever happen! The last time Hanukkah fell on the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving was not yet a holiday and Hanukkah will never again fall this early on the Gregorian calendar. While it is a nice coincidence that the two holidays overlap, these two holidays actually have much in common.

As we light the menorah on Hanukkah and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, we should reflect on the reason for celebrating both holidays. In America, the Thanksgiving holiday is rooted in the Pilgrims’ celebration in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The Pilgrims were a religious group from England who were seeking religious freedom and hoped to establish a new colony in North America. The Pilgrims fled the unrest in England that threatened their religious practices. In fear of losing their identity and culture to other European countries, the Pilgrims hoped to maintain their religious practices and identity by establishing a new colony in North America. The Pilgrims story is a fight for religious independence and part of our American Thanksgiving holiday must be connected to this fact.

The story of Hanukkah is very similar to that of Thanksgiving. The Jews of Jerusalem experienced relative calm for many years under the Seleucid Empire. But once a new king came to power, their religious freedom was threatened. The Seleucid army attacked Jerusalem and the Temple and the great Maccabees fought to defend both of them. The Maccabees were fighting against the external forces of the Seleucids as well as Jews who were convinced that they should abandon their Jewish roots and adopt Hellenistic culture. The story of Hanukkah ends with the famous story of the rededication of the Temple with the one jar of oil which lasted for eight days.

As we gather for Hanukkah and Thanksgiving this year, we recall the experience of both the Maccabees and the Pilgrims and their fight for their religious freedom and identity. While our religious freedom may be less of a concern today than it has been in the past, our religious identity continues to remain under attack. Jews have successfully integrated into all aspects of American life, but we face the same concern as both the Maccabees and the Pilgrims. How can we maintain our religious identity in the face of another culture?

As we celebrate these two Holidays on the same day, we learn that we are not alone in fighting for our religious identity and that both our Jewish and American ancestors were successful in preserving their unique religion and culture, while also becoming part of the surrounding community. May Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coinciding on the same day push us to better learn how to preserve our Jewish tradition while also remaining part of American society.

B’vracha,
Rabbi Michael Kushnick

Rabbi KushnickRabbi Michael J. Kushnick was ordained from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 2013. Rabbi Kushnick also received a Masters of Jewish Education from the William Davidson School of Jewish Education. This post originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of “Kol Emit”.

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Carolynn and I would like to wish all of our followers a joyous holiday season. We are thankful for our friends and family and the many blessings in our lives. To show our gratitude to our friends, family, and followers, we are discounting all four novels from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

Book1_3D_rotated Finding a Soul Mate

eBook reg. price $2.99, discounted to $.99
Print book reg. price $11.99, discounted to $7.99

 

Book2_3DBook3_3DBook4_3D

The Couples, Finding Each Other, and Growing Together

eBook reg. price $3.99, discounted to $1.99
Print book reg. price $11.99, discounted to $7.99

Discount codes will be posted and e-mailed Thursday night at midnight (CST)

Books make  wonderful gifts.

I will close by sharing a fun post from BuzzFeed – How To Celebrate Thanksgivukkah, The Best Holiday Of All Time

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Reading!

Richard Alan

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Richard Alan

Richard began writing while living in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Carolynn. This summer they moved to Dallas, Texas. They are the proud parents of three wonderful adult sons.

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