For the third year in a row, in honor of the festival of Chanukkah, I shall discuss eight things. I’m starting off with the goal of having the things loosely connect to Chanukkah and/or each other, but since I’m pretty much writing this with no prior planning, I can’t guarantee that actually happens.
1. At sundown tonight, the third night of the holiday begins. But according to most American calendars, yesterday (the 9th) was the first day.
For those unfamiliar with the Jewish religion, all of our holidays begin at sundown. For whatever reason, this is a concept that Christians are simply unable to handle. I think most people would have an easier time grasping quantum physics.
Of course, the calendar makers aren’t making things easier. You’d think by now that they would have figured this all out, and the calendars would say something like “Chanukkah begins at sundown” on the 8th. Nope, most of them refuse to adjust and still go with “Chanukkah begins” on the 9th.
2. Is this a blatant example of anti-Semitism? I don’t think so. I think it’s just a case of something being outside the normal range of knowledge, so people just try to fit it in with their accepted paradigms. If it was anti-Semitism, the holiday would probably be excluded from the calendar, or given a nickname like “Jewish Christmas.”
Honestly, if the calendar maker really was anti-semitic, I’m pretty sure the description given the holiday would be much, much worse.
3. Now you might be wondering why Jewish holidays start at sunset. Here is the commonly accepted answer as supplied by the good people at Judaism 101:
All Jewish holidays begin the evening before the date specified on most calendars. This is because a Jewish “day” begins and ends at sunset, rather than at midnight. If you read the story of creation in Genesis Ch. 1, you will notice that it says, “And there was evening, and there was morning, one day.” From this, we infer that a day begins with evening, that is, sunset. Holidays end at nightfall of the date specified on most calendars; that is, at the time when it becomes dark out, about an hour after sunset.
4. For those of you concerned with when Chanukkah will be in 2013: It starts rather early – November 27th to be exact.
As a child, I never liked it when Chanukkah began on the early side. It felt like it was over before the holiday season really even began. It seems wrong for the holiday to be over before the first college bowl game has been played.
5. Speaking of the bowls, it looks like there’s a great lineup of bowl games on TV that I will once again not watch. Maybe I’ll watch the championship game (Go Irish?), but due to college football’s consistent push back of that game, it won’t be played until well into January.
Here’s an oddity: The Cotton Bowl will not actually be played in the Cotton Bowl stadium. Instead, it will be played at Cowboys Stadium. But don’t feel too bad for the Cotton Bowl, as it will host the Heart of Dallas Bowl on January 1st. The game will be shown live on ESPNU. It shows how much respect ESPN holds for the Heart of Dallas Bowl that they relegated it to ESPNU.
6. Keeping with the football theme, I’m going to have to steal a point from Deadspin’s Drew Magary and ask: Why aren’t NFL games played on Saturdays in December?
It used to be that once college football games ended, they would schedule a couple of NFL games on Saturday afternoons. I believe that in the late 90s, they began showing games on Saturday nights as well. And then, suddenly and inexplicably, they stopped.
Why did this happen? Did the games not perform as well in the ratings on Saturdays? Well, they don’t seem to have a problem with college football’s ratings, and I’m pretty sure that NFL games will draw more viewers than whatever else they’re going to show instead.
I’m guessing it has something to do with NBC’s Sunday Night Football contract, giving them exclusive control over weekend night broadcasts or something.
This is also a good time to re-ask the question: Why don’t they move the Super Bowl to a Saturday? Can anyone provide a good answer for this question besides “tradition?”
7. I complain about not having games on Saturdays as if I actually have time to sit down and watch them. Between moving, preparation for the holidays, and just Cutlet-related activities, I don’t have that much free time available on the weekends.
Yesterday, I watched about 15 minutes of the Eagles game, and turned it off so that the Cutlet could attend a birthday party. I wasn’t too reluctant to turn off the game considering how awful the team has been this year. After eight losses in a row, you stop basing your plans around the team.
Naturally, this was the one game in which the Eagles made a big comeback to win. Oh well.
On the other hand, by going to the party, we got to take home an entire pizza! Considering the lack of food we currently have at our place, that was much appreciated.
8. Because no Chanukkah would be complete without a Black Eyed Peas parody song, I’ll conclude with this video from The Fountainheads:
Happy third night!