This holiday season, I chanted the traditional Hebrew prayer for the lighting of the Hanukah candles as I screwed in the bulbs on the ELECTRIC MENORAH!!! What Jew invented this absurd device?
Yes, you screw in each bulb as the nights go on --- no messy wax...but what do you do on Friday night if you are orthodox? You cant turn the damn thing on!!
Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who commanded us to screw in the bulbs of Hanukah!
Somehow, it just doesn't seem the same.
There is more than one Electric Menorah available -- I kid you not. There are a plethora of plastic menorahs available online so you too can enjoy the holiday tradition of SCREWING IN LIGHT BULBS as you pray. This is like having a catalytic converter for your Amish Station Wagon.
While not as clever as inserting bacon fat in your matzoh balls to give them that extra flavor, electric menorahs bring a 21st Century absurdity to a Jewish holiday that has been of great significance ever since the 20th Century. Yes, it was always a minor holiday, but as it celebrates freedom of religion and the outpouring of light, and happens to occur near Christmas, it gives Jewish families something to celebrate during "the season" -- thank God Purim didn't arrive in December. Imagine the fun anti-Semites would have with Jews celebrating beheadings as party entertainment during a time of Holiday parties! Okay,that isn't the essence of the story, but it is how it ends. Passover has its own problems --- my Nana hired a neighbor gentile girl to help in the kitchen one year. When the girl found out it was Passover, she dropped to her knees and begged my Nana not to kill her! She "knew" Jews needed the blood of a virgin to make Matzoh, and she now figured that maybe she should have let that Italian boy have his way with her at Homecoming after all!
Nana sent her home -- the girl forever grateful that the Jews spared her life that Passover. Hell, we didn't need the blood of a Shiksa to make our Matzoh -- we just needed bacon fat for the Matzon balls!
Of course, as a Baha'i, I have no Baha'i holidays to celebrate in December. God apparently figured the calender was already clogged this time of year, so the big Baha'i festival is in April. We do have a gift giving holiday at the end of February -- so if you missed giving me a wonderful gift this Xmas/Hanukah, you can still impress me at the end of February with your generosity.
And no, I won't be using an Electric Menorah.