Clash of Cultures

Clash of Cultures

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a.george.webSenior Noah Lybik grew up celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah with his family. Lybik said he still considers himself Jewish despite his father’s Christian heritage.

For the eight nights of Hanukkah, senior Noah Lybik’s family lights the menorah, gets a present every night, say the prayers, and has latkes and sufgoniyot, a traditional Jewish pastry. According to Lybik, his family basically does all of the Hanukkah traditions. But then, because his dad’s side of the family is Christian, he celebrates Christmas as well. According to Lybik, celebrating both holidays is enjoyable and interesting due to all of the different cultures and traditions present.
He said, “I like most that Hanukkah is a laid-back holiday. You get presents at night and during the day, and sometimes you can even forget that it’s Hanukkah.”
Lybik is 100 percent Jewish, but he still visits his grandparent’s house for Christmas and sometimes for Easter.
On Christmas Day, Lybik said, “We have a regular Christmas celebration except we don’t go to church.”
According to Lybik, he celebrates Christmas for his dad because he grew up being Christian, and it’s also fun to see the whole family together.
He said, “I like that Christmas is very festive, and there’s a lot of delicious food, and I get to see all of my family.”
Although Lybik enjoys embracing both traditions, Hebrew teacher Yossi Cohen said, “I think it’s very difficult to do both (Christmas and Hanukkah). Each person has to choose one of the two because you can’t turn right and left at the same time — you have to choose what you want to do.”
However, according to Cohen, Christmas and Hanukkah have a lot of similarities.
Cohen said, “The idea of family being together, the value of friendship and being together, the value of looking at life on the bright side and not the negative side — I think the holidays emphasize bringing out the beautiful part that each one of us has inside of us.”

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