web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


It’s Hanukkah, Not Thanksgiving and Not Thanksgivukkah

How long do you want to live in America before realizing that you have not lived long enough in Israel?
The Lights of Hanukkah on the streets of Jerusalem.

The Lights of Hanukkah on the streets of Jerusalem.

I already have erased the first version of this article, which was preachy and snotty, when I realized I have lived in Israel too long to remember that I lived too long in America before moving to Israel.

All of the rah-rah Israel attitude than landed with me 30 years ago comes out like a tired preacher fed up with his flock of sinners and no longer able to lead them to the path of Truth and Beauty.

So for all of you still in the United States, and in Canada where I lived for eight years, the only way I know to get inside you is to write the news and views the way I see it, and not as the journalist I once was, when I had traded in Judaism for Journalism as The Way of Life.

My trip into idol worship – H. L. Mencken was one of my gods – ended in the news room at a major metropolitan daily in Canada, where I had the fancy title of Senior News Editor with a salary I have not seen again until this day.

That was in 1981, during what was known as the Peace for the Galilee campaign, usually referred to as the First War in Lebanon. I was ripping off UPI and AP copy, poring through the reports and deciding what our readers would read and what would go into the trash bin.

At that time, Judaism was a memory, and Zionism was an embryo, which I did not know existed.

Let’s go back a bit, but briefly. I grew up in a home where my parents of blessed memory became observant when I was almost too young to remember. Fast forward to 1960, when I was 16 and when they already were heavily involved in the Orthodox Union and Hadassah and took their first trip to Israel.

I was going to public high school but was very serious in my religious learning, which I continued at the “afternoon Hebrew school” well after my Bar Mitzvah. My favorite bedtime reading was the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch on Jewish laws.

Israel was never a part of my studies, except for stories about Jews in the days of “Palestine.”

When my parents returned with photographs of Israel, I refused to look at them. I blurted out instinctively, “Israel is not a religious state. I do not want to see pictures from a Jewish state that is not orthodox.”

If you have not gotten the point, I was far from a Zionist. As a cub reporter in a small hillbilly town in Virginia during the Six-Day War, I remember my managing editor calling out, “Hey, do you know what you guys are doing to the Arabs?

I did not know and could not have cared less. I was more interested in pounding the police beat.

But what happened in the news room in Canada during the war in Lebanon tore me up.

Journalism was my Truth, but something did not read right between the lines of the wire copy.

It said that Israeli soldiers were attacking “guerillas” inside Lebanese territory and then noted the “invasion” followed some rockets that had fallen on Israel, killing a few people here and there.

And you thought that the anti-Israel bias on the war against terror in Gaza, Judea and Samaria is something new? Every day, I read about Israel “invading” Lebanon and killing these “guerillas,” with the obvious bias that Israel was to blame for the violence that I could see between the lines was initiated in Lebanon.

I couldn’t take it anymore. My belief in Journalism was extinguished in a flash. I was devastated. After six weeks, I walked into the news room and said, “I quit.”

The bosses were astonished but did not ask for an explanation, and I do not know if I could have answered. Journalism had become  a lie, and there would be no sense telling the gods they have ears and cannot hear and have eyes and cannot see.

Two years later, I took my first trip to Israel – on a one-way ticket, intent to stay, which I did.

So dear, reader, I am trying not to preach to you. I can only let you know of one person’s path to The Truth.

Everyone has his or her own path, and I cannot communicate to you other than through the news and views.

You have your reasons – let’s be honest and call them excuses, in most cases – to remain outside of Israel. I am not referring to those with children. I  mean all of the singles and couples without children and without the financial responsibility that could be a question mark before moving to Israel. We can discuss that some other time.

I cannot persuade you or convince you other than to write through my eyes that see Israel with its warts and puts them in perspective of a Divine Presence that protects this country, and see the warts of American in the perspective of a fading empire whose Jews are living in their hope that there will always be a tomorrow.

All of this comes to mind on what is being called Thanksgivukkah, a name which says volumes.

I am sure Americans have a lot to be thankful about, and I will let each one count his own blessings.

My “anti” stage has long passed; I am not anti-American nor anti-America. I was born there, grew up there, was educated there and worked there.

And I am thankful that Thanksgiving is so far behind me that I don’t have the burden of having to celebrate the Miracle of Lights and the Jewish victory over the Romans  in the home of the Jewish people along with the holiday that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

According to my prayer book, every day is a day of thanksgiving.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

7 Responses to “It’s Hanukkah, Not Thanksgiving and Not Thanksgivukkah”

  1. Ch Hoffman says:

    if your favorite reading was Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, you must have been some dork

  2. No T-day in my home.

  3. Matti Kovler says:

    PLEASE help spread the word: a musical response to #anti-Semitic #Menorah #vandalism on our campus: http://t.co/C5a0qSzkSV

  4. Bob Riley says:

    Psa 75:5
    Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak so defiantly.’”

  5. Jenny Holcberg says:

    Give each festivity its right meaning
    Rejoyce with the celebration of people RRIVING IN foreign land
    where they could live a life of freedom and abundance
    And remember the fight of a few against many and their victory
    and the miracle that happened at the rededicated Holy Temple
    when a mesure of oil that should have lasted one day remained burning
    on the Janukhia for 8 days.
    So two diferent happenings that must be celebrated each one
    separatly recognizing their unique values

  6. Jenny Holcberg says:

    Give each festivity its right meaning
    Rejoyce with the celebration of people RRIVING IN foreign land
    where they could live a life of freedom and abundance
    And remember the fight of a few against many and their victory
    and the miracle that happened at the rededicated Holy Temple
    when a mesure of oil that should have lasted one day remained burning
    on the Janukhia for 8 days.
    So two diferent happenings that must be celebrated each one
    separatly recognizing their unique values

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Blogs Stories
Ultra Orthodox Jewish youths studying religious texts at a Yeshiva in Jerusalem

In the Hareidi world, Torah study is worshipped to the exclusion of all else. Nothing else matters

IDF vehicles attacked by Hezbollah with anti-tank missiles at northern border.

Chances are, like in the South, terrorists are building a sophisticated network of tunnels in North.

Hezbollah shooting at Har Dov

9:31pm The Mt. Hermon ski resort on the Golan Heights will be open for business tomorrow morning — having receiving permission from the IDF. 8:03pm Channel 2 reports that Hezbollah terror cell was located 5 kilometers from Israel, and not within Israel as originally thought.Soldiers in 2nd vehicle were saved after they jumped out of […]

Jordana Brown: Ready, willing, and able!

I need a job, my friends. A real life, full-time, pay-the-bills, up at 7, home-after-nightfall JOB!

Ha’aretz claiming Glick is “far from a household name to non-English speaking Israelis” is erroneous

Distinguishing between manipulating and influencing people + 3 steps towards positive communication

Despite “excuses” about not wanting to influence Israel’s election Netanyahu’s views should be heard

Israeli leaders deny reality: Nothing we can do will make the Arabs accept a viable Jewish state

How do we make sure the Holocaust is relevant to new generations?

In 2006, Amona kids saw their teachers and rabbis being thrown from windows as if they were garbage

No money should go to terrorists or their families; anyone involved in terror must pay the price

Responsible Jewish outreach encourages BTs to retain and to enhance their relationship with parents

Israelis will vote for Likud because of Caroline Glick, but she’ll just be Right window dressing.

What are the dynamics of running a family business and what are its impact on family relationships?

The Hareidi paper HaMevaser wanted to have their cake and eat it too: use the photo; lose the women

Producer Chuck Wang explains how you can learn from mistakes and move on towards success.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Children learn how to shoot rifles to kill Jews.

Maybe, just maybe, the new generation of terrorists will one day turn their guns on their oppressors in Gaza.

You are looking at an "armed insurgent" and not a terrorist, according to the White House.

The White House explains that Taliban is not a terrorist group — it is an “armed insurgency.”

The US in November stopped funding a left-wing group that is helping to campaign against Netanyahu

Super Bowl viewers will have to get along with Scarlett Johansson this year.

Cruz and New York Rep. Zeldin complained to Kerry of Obama’s “relentless harassment.”

National religious voters favoring the new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai may be wasting their votes.

Hezbollah is a terrorist group and terrorist party, but most and worst of all, it is a huge and powerful army.

Lieberman’s issues a disproportionate response to polls that show his party will barely squeeze into the Knesset.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-other-side-of-israel/i%d7%90s-hanukkah-not-thanksgiving-and-not-thanksgivukkah/2013/12/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: