TERRE HAUTE —
Menorah + Turkey = Menurkey.
Go on, say it.
It’s catchy. And a 9-year-old boy came up with it.
A menurkey is a turkey-shaped menorah, which Asher Weintraub, a New York City fourth-grader, thought of, designed and named to celebrate the rare convergence this year of Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah, an eight-night Jewish festival (also known as the Festival of Lights).
Many refer to this convergence by another, unique name: Thanksgivukkah.
Some sources, including the Menurkey website (by the makers of the turkey-shaped menorah), claim that this year is the only time this intersection has ever occurred.
“The reason Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap this year is because the Jewish calendar repeats on a 19-year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7-year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19x7 = 133 years,” the website states.
“Which is correct – the last time it would have happened is 1861. But Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863 (which is why it has never happened before),” it continued.
Media reports by the Associated Press and The Washington Post, however, say that the last time the convergence of the two holidays happened was in 1888, and the next time it will happen may be 79,000 years from now.
The Menurkey website claims it may never happen again.
But regardless of when it happened before or when it will happen again, it is still a rare occurrence this year that some people are excited about.
Terre Haute residents Jan and Herschel Chait purchased a menurkey and put it on displayed in their home.
In the front, the menurkey just looks like a turkey (which appears to be made of plaster), but on the back is the menorah. The couple added colorful candles to it.
Since the convergence of the two holidays is so rare, and this year is the first time a menurkey has ever been produced, “I think of it as a novelty item,” said Herschel Chait, an associate professor of management at Indiana State University, at his home on Friday.
One source says that “the next time the two will coincide would be when Thanksgiving falls on Chanukah eve in the year 2070,” according to the Lubavitch of Indiana’s website.
Jan Chait said if it occurs, then she can pass the menurkey down to her grandchildren.
“If somebody doesn’t break it this year,” she pointed out.
The family celebrates both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, so its dinner table this year will be filled with dishes celebrating the “fusion.”
“I’ve already made pumpkin challah,” Jan said about the traditional Jewish bread.
She said she can take the traditional food from one holiday and combine it with a traditional ingredient from the other.
Another family is planning to incorporate this fusion to its “Thanksgivukkah” table.
Elle Muhlbaum, a student rabbi at the United Hebrew Congregation in Terre Haute, said she also plans to have pumpkin challah. She will also add potato pancakes served with cranberry apple sauce (traditionally served with just apple sauce or sour cream) to her menu.
She will incorporate the “flavor of Thanksgiving in the Hanukkah meal.”
But the decorations will also reflect the special, once-in-a-lifetime (at least our lifetime) occurrence.
Muhlbaum said that her home will combine harvest colors with the blue and silver of Hannukah “for the first time this year.”
“Here we have the unique opportunity to celebrate them [the two holidays] together,” Muhlbaum, who learned about Thanksgivukkah after it became “this Internet phenomenon,” said.
And it is only fitting to celebrate them together, Muhlbaum said, because both holidays are a time of thanksgiving.
“On Thanksgiving, thousands of American families sit around bountiful tables, sharing elements of their life for which they’re thankful. On Chanukah, we commemorate the miraculous lighting power of a tiny volume of oil providing light in the Temple,” Muhlbaum wrote in a United Hebrew Congregation monthly journal.
“In each holiday, we can reflect for things we feel thankful for,” she added.
Well-established holiday traditions fuse in a rare gift from calendar
TERRE HAUTE —
Menorah + Turkey = Menurkey.
- Local & Bistate
65,000 chickens die in rural Indiana fire
WARSAW, Ind. (AP) — Thousands of chickens have been killed in a fire on a northern Indiana farm.
One person hospitalized after parking lot pile-up
A woman was hospitalized with injuries after an accident late this morning in the Baesler’s Market parking lot.
Indiana teachers worry about revamped ISTEP test
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana teachers are heading back to classrooms starting this week and face the daunting task of preparing students for a standardized test that’s been retooled three times since 2009.
‘Test jury’ gauged in Indianapolis home blast case
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors and attorneys for one of the suspects in a deadly Indianapolis house explosion have begun assessing whether they can find an impartial jury to hear the case.
Vigo County Jail Log: July 28, 2014
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, based on jail records.
Old National strengthens position with Grand Rapids-based Founders Bank & Trust pending acquisition
Evansville-based Old National Bancorp and Grand Rapids-based Founders Financial Corp. jointly announced today the execution of a definitive agreement under which Old National will acquire Founders through a stock and cash merger.
Conservation officers investigate death at Cataract Falls
Indiana Conservation officers are investigating the death of an Ohio man that occurred at about 4:10 p.m. Sunday, July 27, at Cataract Falls State Recreation Area in Owen County.
Postcards from the war front
A native of France, Marie Decleir saw humanity at its worst as she experienced the death and destruction caused by World War I, which began 100 years ago today.
Watching Gordon make history
As race car drivers competed on the track on Sunday in Indianapolis, racing fans in Terre Haute gathered around television screens and watched history unfold during the “Crown Royal Presents, The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard.”
STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Inept amid partisan fury
Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous.
Restaurant Inspections: July 28, 2014
Travel the interstate at your own risk.
Report: City‘s general fund to remain in red
The city’s general fund balance on June 30 remained deep in the red, even after Terre Haute received its twice-yearly property tax check from the state.
Interns, getting foot in the door, bring diversity to workplace
Shanya Tompkins interviewed with Coldwell Banker-Troy Helman Realtors, anticipating an eight-week, part-time summer internship.
Everybody get up and dance now
National Dance Day promotes dancing as part of a healthy, active lifestyle.
Man arrested after rollover kills teen girl
A Terre Haute man has been arrested and a teenager has died following an alcohol-related accident early today.
Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”
Riley lion’s roar goes global
Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.
Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.
Residents ‘stuff the bus’ with pencils, notebooks, backpacks
After exiting a Wal-Mart store in Clinton, Roger E. Richardson stopped his shopping cart Friday in front of a large yellow South Vermillion School Corporation bus.
Man faces 9 charges in homicide case
A Solsberry man faces nine criminal charges related to a July 18 homicide and rape in rural Greene County.
UPDATE: Rockville man dies after head-on collision
A Rockville man has died from injuries he sustained this afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.
Head-on crash leaves Rockville man seriously injured
A Rockville man was air-lifted to an Indianapolis hospital with serious injuries this afternoon following a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.
Vigo County Jail Log: July 25, 2014
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.
Measles case confirmed in Central Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in Central Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and health care providers to identify additional cases of measles, and to prevent further transmission of the disease.
Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands
CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.
4 doctors arrested after Indiana clinic raids
CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four doctors have been arrested on charges of improperly prescribing a drug used to treat painkiller addiction from several Indiana offices.
Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster
SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana is building a new $22 million roller coaster that it says will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop and four inversions.
Indianapolis pulls future support for Amtrak line
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — City officials in Indianapolis have cast the future of an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago into doubt after deciding not to provide any additional money to subsidize that line.
Pence leading annual governor’s motorcycle ride
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is leading the annual governor’s motorcycle ride from the Statehouse through southern Indiana.
- More Local & Bistate Headlines
- 65,000 chickens die in rural Indiana fire