Dec. 10th, 2012 05:49 pm
yannaboo: (happy accidents)
[personal profile] yannaboo
A little bag of chocolate coins, and quite delicious. I'm not sure exactly why gelt is a Hanukkah tradition - what does it have to do with oil? Or the victory of the few over the numerous and mighty? Nevertheless, a tiny plastic sack of parve Belgian chocolate is pretty darn satisfying. It's somewhat interesting how religious observance has been change by culture - why do we give presents? Latkes and sufganiot actually make sense, as they use oil and therefore celebrate the miracle of oil.

It's funny how these things seems to occur to me more now that I'm in a place where fewer and fewer people are Jewish. Growing up in a big city with a large Jewish population, it didn't really occur to me that people wouldn't know what that meant. Even being asked if I was "Hebrew" in 6th grade didn't really drive the point home. We do have a small but vibrant population on campus, enough to eat a ton of latkes and sing silly hanukkah songs. Strangely enough, it seems a significant proportion of the gay students on campus are Jewish. Maybe it comes from a lifetime of being "different" in at least one major way, such that the students are unafraid of being different in others. If so, I think that's kind of awesome - being a college professor, I'd like to think I have a chance to promote acceptance, or at least tolerance, of a wide variety of viewpoints and lifestyles.

Date: 2012-12-11 03:37 am (UTC)
ikeepaleopard: (masque)
From: [personal profile] ikeepaleopard
You just reminded that I have gelt in my bag and I should eat some.

As usual, wikipedia has an authoritative sounding explanation, but if you actually read it, it basically says here are some stories but the actual reasons are lost in the mists of time.

Date: 2012-12-12 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Unfortunately, I am now out of gelt, as my parents only sent four little bags. New York must be full of it, though...send me some? :-D


yannaboo: (Default)

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