Words & Banter

"West Side Story" Meets Chanukah?

"West Side Story" Meets Chanukah?
Six13 - West Side Chanukah Story | Presented by MJE


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Well, Chanukah’s over. Next stop, Christmas!


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Technically, Chanukah does not end until sundown tonight.


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It started last Sunday night, and it’s eight nights, that’s why Chanukah menorahs have eight candles, not counting the center one, which is just used to light the others. So that means last night was the last night.


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It always amuses me that I, who barely went to synagogue growing up, have to explain the basics to you, who had a “formal” Jewish education, including a Bat Mitzvah. Yes, it is eight nights, but the holiday does not end until sundown on the eighth day.


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I guess I never thought about days vs. nights, but I’m still thinking about the hilarious video you sent me that uses music from “West Side Story” with the lyrics changed to celebrate Chanukah.


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I thought it was entertaining and very clever (thanks “BW” for sending it to me).


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And very timely, as the opening of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” is this weekend! I can’t wait to see it, and although I love the original, I have to admit that if the trailer's anything to go by, this version looks wonderful.


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Great music added to a great story, which was based on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” So, it is hard to mess up, although I am sure that Spielberg, while wanting to create something new and fresh, also wanted, in his way, to pay homage to a great classic.


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Is that like creating new Chanukah latkes recipes based on traditional potato latkes?


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That is one way to look at it. But, when it comes time to see the movie, I know you will be thinking of movie popcorn, not potato latkes.
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What do you get when you cross Flag Day (June 14) with June being Effective Communication Month? Well, if you include Black in the mix, you get one of Red’s favorite memories … and a unique way to think about the importance of communicating – whether in your personal or professional life. And especially if you’re in a racecar!


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This past weekend, I noticed a bunch of flags on my street and wondered why since July 4 th is still almost a month away. But this morning, I learned that today's Flag Day.


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Well, for someone who likes to decorate for the holidays, I would have thought you would have known all about it.


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I've heard of it, but I never really thought much about it, let alone when it is. I knew it had to do with the American flag, but it surprised me that it has nothing to do with Betsy Ross, which legend has made the first flag, although it seems there's no evidence to support that.


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If you want an interesting "story", read about why the American flag is called Old Glory . Regardless, the American flag, like all flags, communicates a message.


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I know you like to connect odd dots, but only you would see a connection between flags and communications.
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There’s much debate about the role America should play in world politics and standing by our allies, and we can’t help but wonder … how many people look at history before forming their opinions? Which is why we feel so strongly about remembering D-Day (and are rerunning the post below), which is about so much more than just a day …


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I still can’t believe you didn’t know what D-Day was.


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All I knew was it had to do with World War II and beaches. And, required lots of strategic planning. Remember, I am not a history buff like you.


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Or a movie buff. There has been an assortment of D-Day movies, and I wouldn’t expect you to have watched the older movies, like “ The Longest Day” with John Wayne, but I figured you’d have seen “ Saving Private Ryan .”


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The Tom Hanks movie? It was a great war movie, but from what I remember, it was about the search for a particular soldier during WWII. Although I remember the opening scene showed the horrors of war. Regardless, I do not get my “history” from movies that might take literary license for the sake of storytelling, even if Steven Spielberg’s movies are mostly accurate.


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That opening scene WAS D-Day.
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Some memories fade with time, but others remain as vivid as the day they happened. Like the day my big sister and I played golf together (an extremely rare event), although the memory isn’t about golf, but about how a sister’s flippant comment can stay with you for over 40 years …

There was no way to know it would become a highly effective way of remembering the importance of sunscreen. Especially as it happened before May was declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and May 27 became National Sunscreen Day.

I'll never forget the day. It was an "almost" ordinary day out on the golf course with my mom and dad during the heat of a Long Island summer. Now, if "Long Island" conjures up images of stately manors on the North Shore (think "Great Gatsby") or beachfront mansions in the Hamptons (think Robin Leach and his popular show "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous"), you can put those out of your head. I'm not talking about some fancy country club golf course, just a regular public course.

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