Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgiving date is calculated from the Gregorian solar calendar. The Hanukkah date is calculated from the Hebrew calendar, which is lunisolar. They fell on the same date this year, 2013

It has not happened since 1918 and won’t occur again until 2070.  It should have a meaning. Chanukah is the festival of lights, lighting a candle every day for a week.

But this week is all about Joseph adventures in Egypt. The text read in a synagogue is about Joseph who was  "sold to the royal butcher, promoted to the position of chief administrator of his master's household, incarcerated on trumped-up charges, and subsequently promoted to chief administrator of the prison." He was one the most talented businessmen of his time. Yet, he was not free.

Working for a butcher or a prison, he had a fragile, illusionary security. He had to submit to whims of others, people less talented, who had power over him. He was in exile from what he really was, from what he really was meant to be.

What is Exile? We read in this book:
"The essence of exile is living under the control of some power that deprives us of the freedom to live our lives as G-d would like us to. It is immaterial whether that "power" is political, social, or psychological; whether we submit to it unwillingly or willingly; whether we are physically located in our native country or not. Whatever the case, exile is the mentality that we must constantly seek the approval or bend to the will of an authority whose values are inimical to ours. Being in exile is thus the single most challenging obstacle to living up to our Divine potential, fulfilling G-d's will, and following our life's true calling.
How many of us did not feel like this in the jobs we had or still have, or we don't have, but we dream vainly  one day will bring us illusory salvation?

In my blog entry The illusion of employment, the longest employee tenure is 6.4 years at IBM, the shortest at Google and Amazon, 1 year.

By contract Joseph "employment" in prison lasted 10 years.

Yet he ended "once again promoted, this time to viceroy of Egypt. In contrast to his previous promotions, this time he remains in his prominent post until the end of his life, and is granted full control over his own life."

As this is special day or both  Hanukkah and Thanksgiving, we should erase our egos.  When we say thank you,  we wonder how we can help, as a little as we can, others to escape their exiles.

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