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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Even though Red’sthe warm and fuzzy one and Black’s extremely pragmatic, we both think of hearts on Valentine’s Day. Just not in quite the same way …



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Happy Valentine’s Day. And before you say anything, yes, I know you don’t celebrate holidays, so just humor me.


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But, I do “celebrate” February being American Heart Month since heart disease is the leading cause of death – for both men and women.


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Gee, that’s one way to turn a “fun” holiday into a real downer. Today’s supposed to be about letting people you love and care about know that you’re thinking of them. Think Hallmark cards, squishy teddy bears, chocolate hearts.
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Are you taking the Dry January challenge and not having any alcohol for the month? Or, maybe you plan to drink less (but not nothing), which makes it Damp January. Or, maybe this is the first you’ve heard of it. (If so, there’s still time to start!)

Well, nothing much has changed from our approach to Dry January last year, except the one who had started drinking more last year is continuing the trend …



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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK , started Dry January , where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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It’s January, and everyone’s probably tired of reading about New Year’s resolutions.

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Not me. Since I never make them, I never feel the need to read about them.

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Of course, you don’t. So, what should we write about?

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How about that we celebrate some of our favorite things in January?

So many “National Days” in January are fun (we’ve written about them over the years) and remind us of some of our favorite things. (Can you pick which are Red’s favorite holidays and which are Black’s?) And whether or not you make resolutions, it’s always important to have a sense of humor and enjoy the simpler things in life …

Answer: Red’s favorites are Bagels, Popcorn, and Hugging. Black’s are Clean Desk, Bagels, and Backward.