Saul Rube, Hillel's dean of Judaic studies, said the light-hearted combinations of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah icons underscore a deeper bond: The Talmud, one of Judaism's core texts, describes Hanukkah as a "holiday of thanksgiving."
"The fact that you could meld our Jewish culture and the popular culture is such a wonderful opportunity, when so many times in December observant families feel ... torn. They want to be part of that whole holiday season," he said.
Rube said his Thanksgiving dinner table will have one notable addition: a challurkey, a loaf of Jewish challah bread in the shape of a turkey. Some Detroit-area bakeries are selling them but he found one he liked online from a kosher bakery and ordered it. It was only $12, but a good bit more for shipping.
"I splurged — I told my wife if we amortize the cost over 80,000 years 'til it happens again, it's not so bad," he said.
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