This year, for the first time since the 1800’s, the first day of Chanukah coincides with Thanksgiving Day. People (who obviously are more skilled with a calendar than me!) claim the Jewish and Gregorian calendars won’t converge like this again for another 77,000 years, which seems far enough in the future for me to safely say “this will never again happen!!”
So, to get into the spirit of the week, I spent some time this weekend hanging out with my sons’ Legos . . . and the result was this centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table:
Clearly I’m excited about the “never again” intersection of Thanksgiving Day and the first day of Chanukah, but I’m also wondering if maybe it’s arrived to remind me of one of those deeper truths that I seem to repeatedly forget — that every Chanukah, every Thanksgiving, every day, every hour, every moment . . . all of them are “never again.”
I know it can be a bit overwhelming to consider, but it is true. Inevitably, some small unpredictable “somethings” will happen today that will cause change in me, in you, in everyone. We grow, we learn, we gain new perspective, we continue becoming whatever it is we are to become (ehyeh asher ehyeh, in the image of G-d). The kids we have dinner with tonight will be just a little different from the kids we dropped at school this morning . . . so this morning’s breakfast was a never again breakfast. That moment in time, just like this moment in time and the next one, into infinity (or into The Infinite, if you prefer) . . . those moments simply won’t ever exist again.
So, yes, I pray all of us have wonderful, safe holiday weekends, filled with the love and laughter of friends and family and really great food . . . but I also pray we remember it’s not just Thanksgiving on the First Day of Chanukah that won’t ever happen again. It’s also the prep time in the kitchen, it’s the moment arguing with your kid about brushing his teeth, it’s the exhaustion of a day entertaining relatives . . . savor them all, because they won’t ever happen this way again . . .
Shavua tov, jen