No, I’m not questioning whether or not to light one, or several, menorahs tonight. That’s the essence, after all, of the mitzvah of pirsumei nissa, publicizing the miracle of the holiday. But today, as I prepare for the first night of Chaukah – going shopping for potatoes and plenty of oil, dragging the box of menorahs and dreidls out of the basement, and wrapping the first night’s presents – I’m facing a dilemma.
We have a few sets of sukkah lights that the rest of the world (including the manufacturer) would call Christmas lights. A chain of tiny blue bulbs would make a lovely frame for our kitchen window, where we proudly display our menorahs. It would make our home feel more festive and draw attention to our window, arguably adding to our fulfillment of the mitzvah of pirsumei nissa. On the other hand, they look a lot like Christmas decorations, and although my husband was raised Catholic, we do not observe Christmas in our home in any way, shape or form.
I wonder if I’m more conflicted about hanging these lights because of our interfaith marriage. Perhaps I’m concerned that rather than advertising the miracle of Chanukah, my window will be inadvertently advertising an amalgam of two very different holidays. And while a mixture of traditions might work for some, it’s not the way we do things here at homeshuling.
Any opinions or advice? I’ve got about 10 hours to decide. And while you are at it, what do you think about an inflatable Red Rabbi
? (Har har.)