We’re hosting the Chanukah party again! Last year the cleanup took three days, and even now the kiddish cups still have a faint smell of tequila. Why do we do this to ourselves? Because parties are holy! Don’t believe me? Read on:
1. People meet each other and flirt at parties. This is a Jewish reason to host because what if someone meets their bashert at your party? Tradition has it that if you set up three successful couples, you automatically go to heaven when you die. I don’t necessarily believe in a concrete “heaven” concept, but I definitely believe in matchmaking.
2. Abraham and Sarah’s tent was open on four sides. They tell you this when you’re under the chuppah, suggesting that your home should be like Abraham and Sarah’s tent—always open to visitors.
3. At seders we say “let all who are hungry come and eat.” Why limit social justice and radical inclusion to just one time a year? Let all who are hungry come and eat! Let all who are sober come and drink!
4. Purim traditions can be celebrated at different times in the year. We don’t have to have a bloodbath in order to get tipsy, you guys. We could just get tipsy anyway.
5. It’s a mitzvah to be happy on Shabbat. This is 100% true. Ask any rabbi. Weekends are important.
6. You will hurt Bubbe’s feelings if you don’t try the latkes. And how can you taste the latkes if you don’t come to the party?
7. For Chanukah we’re supposed to “publicize the miracle.” Having a party is a great way to publicize the miracle! It beats going door to door with pamphlets, anyway.
8. Parties give you an opportunity to say blessings. Have you ever hung out with Orthodox rabbis? They’re all about the l’chaims! They know how important parties are. L’chaim is to life—when we raise a glass with friends, we know we’re alive.
9. (This one is the shamash.) Suzie and I actually wrote “hosting parties” into our ketubah. Well, we wrote that we both agreed to “keep the doors of [our] home open to the needs of the world and to those who seek … rejoicing.” Parties are deeply important to us. They’re more than just an excuse to be silly with our friends—parties are about gathering together as a community. They’re about being grateful for another year on the planet. They’re about giving thanks to the universe for our own little corner of the world which allows us a moment to relax and enjoy each other’s company. When you are at a party, you’re not just living–you’re celebrating life. This celebration and focus on community is part of what Suzie and I committed to when we committed to each other under a chuppah years ago. So come over to our house for the Chanukah party this year!