Home > Sermons > SERMON: Thanksgivukkah or Chansgiving…Whatever it is, it was!

SERMON: Thanksgivukkah or Chansgiving…Whatever it is, it was!

December 2, 2013

It bothered me having to write this sermon. As you know, I put a lot of thought and time into my sermons but I always feel it’s worth it because I’ll be able to recycle something from it to use again some years later. But not this time! Today I am speaking about that unique moment in time that came this week when Chanukah and Thanksgiving arrived at the same time. The last time this happened was in 1861. But no big deal was made of it because President Lincoln had not formally established Thanksgiving at that point. So the truth is, in a sense, this combination has never happened before. The next time this will happen is in the year 79811! It’s not going to happen again for more than 77,000 years! Besides Al Tamres and Willie Mazer, who else do you think will make it? It doesn’t look like I’ll be able to use this sermon again!

Why this unique combination has happened this year is too involved for me to explain. That’s not really true … it’s too involved for me to understand. It has something to do with the fact that the latest Thanksgiving can ever come is on November 28 and the earliest Chanukah can ever come is on November 28. And that has to do with the fact that the Jewish calendar repeats itself on a 19-year cycle and Thanksgiving repeats itself on a seven-year cycle, and the Hebrew calendar has an additional leap month every two or three years, while the American calendar has a leap day once every four years. And the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar at a rate of four days per 1,000 years … put it all together and you understand why I don’t understand! READ MORE

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