Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel

I grew up in Los Angeles where the majority of my friends were Jewish. By the time I was 13, I had attended as many bar and bat mitzvahs and was able to recite, "Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam," with surprising accuracy. I also integrated Yiddish into my everyday speech without so much as blinking (oy vey!). My dearest friends' parents affectionately called me "Mik-a-lah," and my sister and I were familiar faces at Hebrew school and later, Hebrew High.

I always dated Jewish boys, and they always broke my heart-- but I was convinced I would marry one, maybe because I didn't know any different (and my first real boyfriend, who was half Jewish, is still the nicest boy that I've ever dated). I knew which friends couldn't go out on Friday because they were orthodox and we always knew when the high holidays were based on who was fasting and/or eating peanut butter and jelly matzoh sandwiches.

When I went to college in the Northeast, I went from being submerged in Jewish culture to having virtually no Jewish friends. But my Aunt Anne [Levin], who lived in NJ, is Jewish, so holidays were infused with Jewish tradition-- and my Yiddish got even better.

All this to say, Happy Hanukkah to friends of old, present and hopefully, future.


Hero to the Masses said...

You're a jew at heart, don't fear.