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Chanukah is the Jewish Holiday of thanks, Thanksgiving?, for a couple of reasons. The first is that the name of the historic heroic figure in the holiday's background story is יהודה Yehuda, Judah, which means thank you to G-d. The name first appears when the Jewish Matriarch Leah, wife of Ya'aqov (Jacob) gives that name to her fourth son to show her thanks to G-d.
Genesis Chapter 29 בְּרֵאשִׁיתThe Al Hanissim "Because of the Miracles" Prayer, added during the eight days of Chanukah is also a Prayer of Thanksgiving to G-d for making it possible for the small seemingly weak Jewish People to defeat the mighty Greeks. So, to be precise, we Jews have had a Thanksgiving Holiday thousands of years before there ever was a United States.
לה וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן, וַתֹּאמֶר הַפַּעַם אוֹדֶה אֶת-יְ--ה עַל-כֵּן קָרְאָה שְׁמוֹ, יְהוּדָה; וַתַּעֲמֹד, מִלֶּדֶת. 35 And she conceived again, and bore a son; and she said: 'This time will I thank the LORD.' Therefore she called his name Judah; and she left off bearing.
This year's rare calendar coincidence has inspired many American Jews in the states and some ex-pats, too. Here are a couple of clever videos. Enjoy!
The first is a very clever one from Stand with Us.
Sorry, but as cheery as that video is, it doesn't hold a candle to Benji Lovitt's brilliant holiday special.
Enjoy them both!