Some years, my early December birthday overlaps with Chanukah (don't worry about the English spelling - there's no right or wrong); and this is just such a year. My daughter immediately makes the connection, as soon as I mention the fact. "Abba'chka, can we have sufganiyot to celebrate your birthday this year? Hooray, hooray, hooray, hooray!" Sufganiyot? Sure, I figured you'd ask. Essentially, they are donuts, fried in oil, as all traditional Chanukah foods are; but in Israel - sufganiyot are a -major- cultural phenomenon. Every bakery strives to outdo itself and its competitors every year with sundry decadent, colorful sufganiyot flavors; they literally produce -menus- to guide customers through shelves covered in donut rainbows. Throughout much of the Western world, including the USA - where I grew up - Christmas trees, Santa Clauses, nativity scenes are everywhere in the winter season; chicks, eggs, bunny rabbits are ubiquitous during Easter... Whereas here, in Israel, the world's one Jewish state, I see Jewish, rather than Christian, holiday symbols in shop windows, lining the streets, covering the walls of our public schools. Home; Israel is simply home. It's the one place in the whole world where it's entirely natural to be Jewish; I can appreciate this so much because I'm intimately familiar with the diaspora. Here, Jewish life is dynamic and alive; vibrant and colorful - not unlike the sufganiyot my daughter has been salivating over (they're already being sold, weeks before Chanukah begins, but I won't tell her that). My child does not appreciate Israel, due, in part, to tender age (only natural); but also perspective - she has nary a concept of being a religious minority (only natural). Of course(!) there will be sufganiyot at every corner during Chanukah - duh! She's already wondering what new flavors they'll have this year. "Yes, Dear, of course we will - we'll go together to the bakery to pick some out!" And I think to myself -once again- that -I- could have been her if my parents hadn't decided to move our family to America.
d’Verse Poetics Prompt:
‘Epiphany in the Time of Holiday’
At d’Verse, poets were invited to imagine a moment of pausing, a still point of epiphany this holiday season. You may write using any poetic form, whatever suits. What would having an epiphany during this holiday season look like for you (or someone you know or imagine)?
Let’s write poetry together!
When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.–Ben Harper (b. 1969)
Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!