Hanukkah, Chrismukkah, Swastika

David Zvi Kalman discusses symbols of Hanukkah on the Bonjour Chai podcast

Once upon a time, the swastika had no correlation to hate. It is, in fact, a millennia-old symbol of well-being and hope. It has been used—and continues to be used—by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and many other Eastern religions as a sacred symbol in homes and temples. After its image to Western eyes became tarnished in the 20th century, its origins have fallen wayside—but a recent push to keep its original meaning intact aims to change that.

And on the topic of symbolism, we look at Hanukkah merch: mugs with phrases like “Joy Vey”, greeting cards joking “Fa La La La Latke”, dreidel-shaped waffle irons and more. Where did this stuff come from? Who buys it? Rabbi Yael Buechler and writer David Zvi Kalman join to dissect whether the trend is a symptom of late-stage capitalism or a stab at religious equity.

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