One of the great things about growing up in New York City was being exposed to so many different cultures.
When I was younger, my friends and I were like pint-sized versions of the United Nations. On any given day, you could find us doing random things like eating homemade Pakistani food and listening to Jamaican house music while getting dressed to attend a Russian friend's confirmation. The influences of all our various cultures couldn't help but rub off on all of us.
However, despite the fact that I had such a multicultural group of friends, my two best friends growing up were both Jewish. Hence, like many New Yorkers, I consider myself an honorary Jew.
In solidarity, I've fasted on Yom Kippur. I've feasted at many Passover seders. And I've been to so many Shabbat dinners that I can practically recite the kiddush in my sleep. Heck, the BossLady and I were even married by a rabbi (We didn't know he was a rabbi. We thought he was a judge. Turns out he was both.)
Anyway, I won't go into it all now but I've got a long-standing theory regarding the possibility that Koreans are the Lost Tribe of Israel. Love of potato pancakes? Check. Self-loathing senses of humor? Check. Chicken soup as the cure for every malady? Check. Unmitigated use of guilt as a parenting tool? DOUBLE-CHECK!
Last week, I was IM'ing with a friend of mine and we both realized just how Jewish I had become...
Drew: The Yankees might sign Doug Mientkiewicz. Another Jewish player in NY!
ME: Mientkiewicz isn't Jewish.
Drew: What? Are you sure? What about Shawn Green?
ME: Not a REAL Jew. He's got a tattoo.
Drew: Good point.
ME: Also, his mother isn't jewish. Only his father. Even Temple Emmannuel woudn't let him through the door! Baal Tshuva!
Drew: You're starting to scare me.
ME: Kadosh Adonai Eloheynu, my Sephardic brother!
Drew: You might have something with that Lost Tribe theory, freak!
The Peanut attends a completely non-denominational daycare center. In fact, BossLady and I specifically went out of our way to ensure that the school was as secular as possible.
The school is so secular that when I volunteered to come in last week and sing holiday songs to the kids, the teachers took great pains to ensure that any song I chose had no religious overtones or nuances. No "Silent Night, Holy Night." No "Little Drummer Boy." As a guideline, they recommended that I sing the kids songs like "Frosty the Snowman."
So imagine my surprise when the Peanut came home yesterday with a Happy Hannukah card! The front of the card was clearly drawn by the teachers. There was a giant finger-painted Star of David adorning the cover. However, the inside of the card was completely drawn by the Peanut.
I believe the blob in the middle is a menorah. And I'm not sure but I think the little cubes surrounding it are miniature dreidels. Either way, I find it more than a little hilarious that my two-year old daughter made me a Hannukah card.
I guess the Te’enah doesn't fall far from the tree.