November 28, 2013 by · Comments Off on Thanksgiving 

Thanksgiving, The coincidence this year of Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah is very unusual – it last happened in 1888. But in a way it’s fitting, as American Jews have been embracing Thanksgiving for more than two centuries.

By the time the first of eight candles in Jewish menorah were lit on Wednesday evening for the start of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the country was largely closed down for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the most commonly cited calculation, not only has this not happened for 125 years, but it won’t happen again for more than 70,000 years.

That is because the Jewish calendar is shifting in relation to the Gregorian calendar very, very slowly… at a rate of four days every 1,000 years.

It’s thanks to a quirk of both calendars that 2013 has this curious new amalgam: Thanksgivukkah.

The term was coined, and trademarked, by a marketing specialist called Dana Gitell, who teamed up with an online Jewish gift shop to sell T-shirts and other memorabilia.

Among the items on sale are a “menurkey” – a menorah shaped like a turkey – designed by a nine-year-old New Yorker, whose family say they have sold thousands at $50 a piece.

There’s a Facebook page with more than 13,000 “likes”, a #Thanksgivukkah hashtag on Twitter, and a large number of YouTube music videos of varying quality.

Thanksgiving food:

Hanukkah food:

Perhaps the most common online discussion topic is food, and ideas for “mash-up” recipes that combine festive delicacies from both sides – from potato latkes with cranberry applesauce to rye pumpkin pie.

All this has brought to the surface the longstanding affection for Thanksgiving among American Jews.

“American Jews love Thanksgiving and celebrate it every year with the rest of America,” says Gitell.

Whereas some Jewish families might not take part in Halloween or Christmas, Gitell says she doesn’t know any Jewish family that wouldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. “I think that Thanksgiving is generally considered kosher by all Jews,” she says.

This is partly because Thanksgiving is generally seen as a secular, national holiday in which people honour family and community, regardless of ethnic group or religious denomination.

It is also popularly associated with pilgrims giving thanks for their new life in America, where they could practise their religion freely.

In that respect, some see similarities with the story of Hanukkah, which celebrates the miraculous lighting of the menorah in Jerusalem’s Holy Temple after the victory of the Maccabees against the Syrians in the 2nd Century BC.

Though several rabbis have expressed reservations about Thanksgiving, and one even stated his opposition to eating kosher turkey, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, director of the Washington office of the ultra-Orthodox Chabad movement, says there is “nothing adverse to anything Jewish or contradictory to Judaism” in Thanksgiving.

“For that celebration to happen – as we are in our religious calendar celebrating our own religious freedom, as it was achieved in ancient times – makes it only that more emphatic,” he says.

Greeting cards are among this year’s Thanksgivukkah products
US history has also been deployed to firm up the links, right back to the use of rabbinic texts used by Puritans to thank God for their safe arrival in America.

After George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide Thanksgiving celebration in 1789, the preacher at New York’s oldest congregation, Shearith Israel, gave a Thanksgiving sermon and instructed his congregation to observe the holiday.

The service was unprecedented in the history of Jewish liturgy and prayer, says Allan Nadler, a professor of Jewish studies at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

“The creation of a Hebrew religious service to commemorate a non-Jewish holiday, a holiday whose origins have nothing to do with the Jews – that’s quite remarkable.”

Their immediate adoption of Thanksgiving is also an example of how “Jews in general embraced everything American with real fervour”, says Nadler.

“The way in which the Jews immigrated to America in the 19th Century – especially the mass wave of Russian Jews at the end of the 19th Century – the speed with they acculturated themselves and rose up economically and intellectually in universities I don’t think has any parallel.”

Historically, Hanukkah was a relatively minor Jewish festival, but it has gained in significance. Gifts are now often exchanged, especially in North America.

“In America it really became important because of the timing – it fitted into the ‘festival season’,” says Nadler. “For Jews anxious to have cultural bonds and interfaith bonds with their Christian neighbours, Hanukkah was perfect.”

Currently on sabbatical in his native Canada, Nadler says he was taken aback after he arrived in the US as a graduate student and was invited by an orthodox rabbi to a Thanksgiving dinner.

He is “feeling a little forlorn” about missing the holiday this year – but he winces at the commercialisation of Hanukkah. And that goes for Thanksgivukkah, too.

Thanksgiving Wallpaper

November 1, 2010 by · Comments Off on Thanksgiving Wallpaper 

Thanksgiving Wallpaper, Shares of the following companies are having unusual movements in U.S. trade. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are from 10 am in New York.

Alere Inc. (ALR U.S.) fell 7.6 percent to 27.30 and after sinking as much as 19 percent, the intraday since 8 June. The company, which offers patient diagnosis, monitoring and management of health services, reduced its full-year profit forecast to 2.50 per share, and 2.60 per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was and 2.56.

Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. (AVNR U.S.) more than doubled and of 5.10 for the biggest gain in the Russell 2000 Index. The drug maker’s goal of price rose to 15 and Jefferies & Co. analyst Andrew Fein equity. Avanir therapy to laugh or mourn without control in patients with neurological won U.S. approval, the Food and Drug Administration said.

Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI U.S.) increased more in the Standard & Poor’s 500, rising 5.7 percent to 48.96 y. The global provider of oilfield services, the third largest published its third-quarter profit, excluding some items of 54 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate by 17 percent, according to Bloomberg data.

Biodel Inc. (BIOD U.S.) slumped 53 percent to 1.72 and after sinking to 55 percent, the most intraday since September 2008. U.S. regulators said the company would not approve the action of insulin products quickly, without further studies.

CNA Surety Corp. (southern U.S.) increased 21 percent to 23.20 and and advanced to 23.56 and earlier, the highest intraday price since October 1997. CNA Financial Corp. (U.S. CAN) said he intended to buy the insurance of surety bonds and 22.00 per share in cash.

EXCO Resources Inc. (XCO U.S.) increased more in the Russell 1000 index, assembly and 35 percent to 20.01. The oil and gas producer, said its CEO Douglas H. Miller presented the Board of Directors a proposal to acquire all the shares of the company that does not already own and 20.50 per share in cash.

Fortinet Inc. (FTNT U.S.) rose 15 percent to 34.61 and after gaining as much as 23 percent, the most intraday since 18 November. The manufacturer of network security, received a takeover approach from International Business Machines Corp. (IBM U.S.), according to two people familiar with the situation, who declined to be identified because the talks have not been made public .

Intel Corp. (INTC U.S.) rose the most in the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 2.5 percent to 20.58 y. largest chipmaker in the world was boosted to “outperform” from “neutral” Macquarie Group Ltd.

Northeast Utilities (NU U.S.) gained 2.5 percent to 32.06 and after rising to 32.21 and earlier, the highest intraday price since December 2007. largest in New England, owner of utilities increased its forecast for fiscal 2010 revenues of up to 2.20 and a percentage compared with previous guidance of no more than 2.05 and a fee.

Vivus Inc. (VVUS U.S.) fell 8.1 percent and 7.12. The Mountain View, California-based pharmaceutical can not have the necessary data to meet the Food and Drug Administration cardiovascular concerns for experimental diet pill Qnexa, Jefferies & Co. analyst Thomas Wei said. The company rates the shares Vivus “inferior” and with an estimated price 3.

Wilmington Trust Corp. (WL USA) were reduced more in the Russell 1000 index, plunging to 43 percent, and 4.04. The Bank of Delaware, founded by du Pont family agreed to be acquired by M & T Bank Corp. after recording six consecutive quarters of losses, and for about 351 million, or about half its market value on October 29 .