Howard Jacobson, this year’s Man Booker Prize winner, has an op-ed in today’s Times complaining about the lameness of Hanukkah. He’s right. Hanukkah is so the Mets. That’s what you get, I suppose, when you elevate a minor holiday to major-league status. Sure, it’s nice to try make Jewish children feel less bad about living in a world that hates them, but how are you going to compete with Christmas? It’s like scheduling Chuck against Dancing With the Stars. “So what’s to be done?” Jacobson writes. “Either Hanukkah should merge with Christmas — a suggestion against which the arguments are more legion even than the Syrian-Greek army — or it should be spiced up with the sort of bitter irony at which the Jewish people excel. Instead of the dreidel, give the kids their own cars for Hanukkah, in memory of the oil that should have run out but didn’t. Maybe we should also dedicate each candle to one of the more recent narrow escapes of Jewish history. The Spanish Inquisition candle. The Russian Pogroms candle.”
I think he’s on to something. Let’s finish the list.
3) The Lender’s Bagels candle
4) The success of The Passion of the Christ candle
5) The Madoff scandal candle
6) The Roger Waters candle
7) The other Jews candle
8) The global warming (and even more important, the attendant increase in humidity) candle
Who needs Christmas?! Let the Yankees have Derek Jeter! We’ll make our trumped-up holiday a jolly day for every girl and boy! Jews are survivors! Wolverines!!!