When I was 20, I spent my junior year in college in England. When classes let out for the last two weeks of December, I traveled to Morocco, where something life-changing occurred.
It's starting to look a lot like ... Chanukah. That's the minor eight-day Jewish holiday that's become a major one in our time, perhaps because of its proximity to Christmas and the demand for some kind of Jewish equivalent.
Of all the rituals that mark this season, none is more misguided than the complaints about how crass and mercenary the holidays have become.
Tonight we light the first candle of Chanukah, for it is the first night of this minor eight-day Jewish holiday that's become a major one over the years.