Judaism is a religion rich in celebrations and holidays. As the old Jewish joke goes, a formula unifies the many disparate Jewish holidays: our enemies wanted to kill us, we prevailed, we celebrate. And while most Jewish communities revert to the basics of meals and gatherings to commemorate Jewish holidays, on campus we add a dimension by massacring the English language with word plays and puns. With events such as Chabad’s “Canorah” and the “Hannukah (Chai)Lighter Party” to be hosted by Party With Jews (a Hillel subsidiary), rest assured that the legacy of puns will continue this holiday season. Brevity aside, as Chanukah, perhaps the most well known of Jewish holidays, approaches, there are several meaningful and commemorative options for celebrating on campus.
In fact, due to Chanukah’s early arrival this year, it coincides with yet another holiday: Thanksgiving. While these two holidays seemingly share little in common, with the exception of their stupor-inducing foods, Chabad has created a program on campus that thematically merges the essence of both holidays.
The event entitled, “Canorah — Yes you CAN!” combines the traditional canned-good drive for those in need with the construction of a Menorah to be lit on campus at Bruin Plaza Dec. 2 at 5 p.m., the sixth night of Chanukah. Rabbi Dovid Gurevich of Chabad sees the collision of the two holidays as providing UCLA’s Chabad and greater Jewish communities with an opportunity to incorporate Thanksgiving into Chanukah. According to Rabbi Gurevich, the idea behind Canorah is to “make something new to tie into Thanksgiving and the idea of sharing.”
Over the course of Chanukah and the several days preceding it, Chabad will be tabling on Bruin Walk and will establish several collection sites around campus and the apartments, including the AEPi fraternity. With the cans collected, a menorah will be constructed and lit to commemorate the sixth night of Chanukah, after which the menorah will be disassembled and the cans donated to charity.
So, if your latkes and candle lighting fail to provide you with sufficient holiday meaning or you would like see Jews dabbling in Art Assemblage, the Canorah drive might do the trick.
If you would like to participate, contact Rabbi Gurevich via chabaducla.com for more details.