How to Tell if You’re Lighting the Menorah or Gaslighting the Jewish People
If it’s almost winter and you’ve set up a candelabra with eight (plus one) spots for candles, you must be getting ready to celebrate Hanukkah, by lighting the menorah. If it’s almost winter and you’ve set up a press conference to wish Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate, while attending a fundraising event hosted by Marjorie Taylor Greene, you’re gaslighting the Jewish people.
If you put A Rugrats Chanukah on the TV for the kids so you can count out the right number of candles without interruption, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you claim that the Jews run Hollywood, but say that’s a compliment, you’re gaslighting.
If you’re hanging out with Jewish friends around sundown during the week of Hanukkah, and you say something like ‘the history of Jewish suffering is overrated,” you’re both lighting and gaslighting.
If you get into a heated debate with your cousin over which candle you’re supposed to light first, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you get into a heated debate with Jewish people about what does and doesn’t constitute anti-Semitism, you’re…say it with us…
If you’re turning the pages in a prayer book, looking for the right verse to say over the candles, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you’re tearing pages out of history books so that educators don’t teach about the holocaust, you’re — do we really have to spell it out for you?
If you want to “hurry up with the candles already” so you can control all the money in a dreidel game, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you’re in a hurry to laugh at comments like “Jews control all the money in the banks”, you’re — ok, this is getting awkward.
If you’re running around town looking for another box of candles because you miscounted how many you actually needed for day seven, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you’re running around saying anti-Semitism isn’t a major issue when there’s been a 34% increase in attacks on Jewish people in the past year — what do you think you’re doing?
If you make excuses for why you can’t meet up for eight consecutive nights, then you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you make excuses for other people’s bigotry, by trying to justify it with things like “well, it’s just words” you’re — are we at this again?
If you post photos of your elaborate blue and white-themed tablescape with #holidaygoals, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you post elaborate solidarity messages when other minority groups are targeted #standuptohate, but remain silent as Jewish people are attacked, you’re — sheesh. You get the point.
If you’re pretending you like the blue sweater with a menorah on it your dad gifted you on the fourth night, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you’re a company that is pretending you “didn’t realize” you were selling clothing on your website with a clear swastika graphic, you’re — seriously, this isn’t funny anymore.
If you’ve gathered at home with your family to enjoy a nice holiday dinner by candlelight, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you’ve gathered at Mar-A-Lago to dine with two celebrities who have made numerous statements about their hatred of the Jewish people, and then you claim to have not known about any of that, you’re — freaking kidding me, right?
If you’re about to take a knife to some potatoes in order to make latkes, you’re getting ready to light the Menorah. If you describe someone wielding a knife yelling anti-Semitic slurs as only “crazy” and not also as “anti-Semitic”, you’re — no comment.
If you’re holding a candle and reciting a prayer while lighting the menorah, Happy Hanukkah! If you’re holding a protest outside a synagogue and reciting verses from Mein Kampf, you’re not even gaslighting anymore, you’re just outwardly anti-Semitic.
Emily Kling is a writer based in New Haven, CT, where she is currently pursuing her MBA degree from the Yale School of Management. Her work has appeared in The Weekly Humorist, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, and The Belladonna. While Emily is often late, she is rarely fashionable. Find her on Twitter @EmilyKling2 or at www.emilyannekling.com.