Judaism Out of the Closet

Even though I come from a Jewish background (sort of), everywhere I’ve previously lived, Judaism has kind of been kept behind closed doors. Christmas is always the big Holiday and Hanukkah was always that holiday that happened in my family (and in a few of my friends’ families) but was never really on display or widely discussed. Being Jewish always kind of seemed like an oddity…being different from the Christian majority.

Well, that is certainly NOT the case here in New York! Judaism is on display everywhere, be it with the Hasidic Jews roaming the streets or the all-too-common man with a Yarmulka (spelling?). Most surprisingly to me is what a big deal Hanukkah is here! Everywhere shop windows display Menorah’s with little light bulbs in them for each night. There’s even the self-described “World’s Largest Menorah” which has been erected at the corner of 59th St & 5th Ave (the southeast corner of Central Park). It’s not a fantastic picture, but check out the cars at the bottom for some frame of reference as to how big this thing is! Oh, and even the Empire State Building got into the Hanukkah spirit with their lighting display!

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