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Happy Hanukkah From TrekMovie.com

Tonight, December 1st, is 2010’s first night of Hanukkah (or Chanukah), the annual eight-day Jewish festival of lights. So TrekMovie would like to wish all of our Jewish readers a big Happy Hanukkah. We also take a look at some Star Trek/Hanukkah connections.

 

 

Happy Hanakkah

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah has never actually been explicitly mentioned in canon, filmed Star Trek. While Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “The Ambergris Element” included a mention of the feline Caitian crewmember M’Ress playing a game of draydel (a traditional spinning top game played during Hanukkah) with her Academy roommate, it did not appear in the filmed version. However, many of Trek’s luminaries are Jewish, including J.J. Abrams, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy (who tweeted Hanukkah wishes today). In fact the original Kirk and Spock are called out in Adam Sandler’s famous "The Chanukah Song". Last year Neil Diamond made his own cover of this song, and the animated video shows Kirk and Spock playing with a draydel.


Kirk and Spock with Dreidel in Neil Diamond’s video of "The Chanukah Song" Click to watch video at YouTube

Another tradition of Hanukah is the Menorah, which has night lights, one of each of which is lit each night of the holiday. Last year we shared this image from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories of their Star Trek menorah made from Star Trek Pez dispensers.

Of course there are many more Star Trek/Jewish connections, such as the Vulcan salute. For more, visit Rabbi Yonassan Gershom’s TrekJews.com, or the Jewish page at Memory Alpha. You can also buy Rabbi Gershom’s book "Jewish Themes in Star Trek" (a great Hanukah present idea). Another idea is CD of William Shatner reading "Exodus: An Oration in Three Parts"

To learn more about Hanukkah, visit The Chabad Hanakkah site.

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John Cooley
December 1, 2010 7:50 pm

Why is Jim Kirk’s tunic green? Only the wraparound was green.

Infact…Hey Bob! You guys should put “New Universe” Kirk in a wrap for a bit in the new film.

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire
December 1, 2010 7:56 pm

Happy Hollidays to all.

December 1, 2010 7:57 pm

Hi folks- Jerry Silber of the Albany Fans Association Star Trek Meeup group. Even though Jews and their culture haven’t been specifically elluded to in the 23rd and 24th centuries, there are comparisons with different civiliations – Zeons, Bajorans., Vucans, etc.

December 1, 2010 7:59 pm

Re: 1
Green is more festive. And Spock thought it was illogical to wear red.

Anthony Thompson
December 1, 2010 8:00 pm

I believe that Harve Bennett is another Jewish Trek “luminary”.

Harry Seldom
December 1, 2010 8:13 pm

” the annual nine-day Jewish festival of lights”????

Eight Crazy Nights!

Nine candles, eight nights.

– Harry

keachick
December 1, 2010 8:14 pm

Happy Hanakkah! Is it not a time of extending goodwill to all and gift giving?

I am not Jewish. I am of Celtic/Pagan/Christian origin.

I believe that Walter Koenig is part-Jewish and so Chris Pine. Chris, I believe is one-quarter Jewish via his maternal grandmother (Anne Gwynne).

SB
December 1, 2010 8:23 pm

#1. Okay, here I go into Full Fanboy mode…

The Command uniforms on the old show, all of them, were varying shades of green. It’s just that something about the shade used in the standard uniform tended to show up as gold on film. There are several publicity photographs from the show’s run that show the costume in its true color. (This one, for example:)

However, since the Command uniforms tended to look gold more often than they looked green, the gold’s pretty much been accepted as standard. But Bill Theiss stated in various interviews that the actual color he chose and used was an avocado green.

SB
December 1, 2010 8:24 pm

Woops. That last link I pasted didn’t seem to work. Here’s another one…

Red Dead Ryan
December 1, 2010 8:37 pm

I know Zachary Quinto is Italian, but is he also Jewish? Because he does look Jewish.

Sunspot
December 1, 2010 9:07 pm

Happy Hanakkah to all our Jewish Star Trek fans and friends around the world!

John Cooley
December 1, 2010 9:23 pm

8.
SB…also in full out fanboy mode.
That’s what we all used to think, but it turns out that the avaccado green was only used in the third season double knit version of the command uniform tunic. Do to new information for the most amazing source, we now know that the original first and second season fabric was indeed very gold and when new (before multiple dry cleanings), very sparkly.

I own a beautiful recreation of a first season command tunic made for me using William Ware Theiss’ actual, original, hand drawn patterns. The insignia was made using the actual brass embroidery dies made in 1965, And the FABRIC is a custom manufactured recreation of the original (out of production) fabric, made using an untouched gold fabric sample kept for over 40 years in one of Mr. Theiss’ costume referance notebooks. The only way to own a tunic that could be any closer to what was worn by Bill Shatner durring the 1st two seasons of STAR TREK, would be to steal one of his tunics on display in the Smithsonian. But mine is better…it fits me!

John Cooley
December 1, 2010 9:39 pm

Whoops…wish I could edit. Please plug in where needed the words: “Due” and “from”.

Also, while I can’t reveal who made my tunic, I will say that the provenance of the materal sources and actual historic documentation used in it’s creation is nothing short of amazing!

Cheers!
John

Vultan
December 1, 2010 10:31 pm

#10

According to wikipedia, Quinto is Irish-Italian and went to a Catholic high school… so that suggests he’s not Jewish. ;) But yeah, I was under that assumption as well.

Anyway, Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Odkin
December 1, 2010 10:39 pm

Boy has this thread gone off the rails…

“That cartoon shirt is the wrong color!”
“No, it’s the right color… I can prove it with these links that don’t work”
“Is Zach Quinto jewish? He sure looks jewish!”
“I have the coolest play costume in the whole wide world!”

Live long and prosper, fellow trekkers. Or to paraphrase as a traditional jewish curse, “you should live and be well” :-)

John Cooley
December 1, 2010 10:49 pm

Heh! No kidding. Sorry, that’s what I get for hanging out on too many Star Trek uniform boards.
The “it’s gold, no it’s green” argument is very old and kind of fun in a way and I just couldn’t help myself when I found the green shirt in the video. Anyway…I now return you to the discussion already in progress.

Daoud
December 1, 2010 10:56 pm

@15 Try

Mazel t’oldyaso.

Daoud
December 1, 2010 10:59 pm

And for

just put a SPACE after the .jpg

Perhaps%20

might work alternatively.

Danya
December 1, 2010 11:26 pm

Also Jewish: Spiner

SB
December 1, 2010 11:37 pm

#12 John…

If you’re in possession of confirmatory information I don’t have, then of course I Bow To You Oh Costume Mastaa!

However, since you clearly are already quite familiar with the whole green/gold business, obviously you were just trying to bait someone like me into bringing it up so you could brag to us about your spiffy tunic. *grin*

Nachum
December 1, 2010 11:44 pm

A friend of mine once had a theory that the more Jews, the better the series. (Mostly Ferengi on DS9, though).

Hugh Hoyland
December 1, 2010 11:52 pm

I’m not Jewish but Happy Hannukkah to my Jewish friends out there! :]

Mel
December 2, 2010 12:02 am

William Shatner looked well in a green tunic, but I think it wouldn’t look so good on Chris Pine. Bright blue eyes and a green tunic isn’t a good combination in my opinion. But I wouldn’t mind to see Chris Pine in the golden mirror universe uniform. ;-)

It was green.
December 2, 2010 12:49 am

#1:

Kirk’s shirt (& all the gold/yellow shirts) was actually a lime green color, it just appeared that ugly baby-poop yellow/gold because of the cameras they used.

keachick
December 2, 2010 1:36 am

I could be wrong but I cannot recall ever seeing Chris Pine wear green in any movie I have seen him in or in any photo or interview. He looks good in the gold uniform, but blue is his colour. There is a particular shade of a dark blue which he looks so good wearing – just looks so right on him.

I always thought the original colour of the uniform worn by Kirk was a mustard colour.

I guess I could google it – but does anybody celebrate Hanukkah and understand its significance within the culture and/or Jewish religion and care to share?

John Cooley
December 2, 2010 1:53 am

Again, I was just kind of playing around, and I totaly didn’t realize that I got obnoxiously excited about my uber cool tunic, sorry. It happens.

As for the color issue, a number of things worked togeather to confuse the issue…stage lighting, cameras, and most noteably color film processing of the mid 1960’s. Add to the mix conflicting stories over the years over the color by William Ware Theiss himself. It gets really confusing, but the man’s own notebooks and swatches from 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1977 don’t lie, and those original sources have put the color issue to bed.

robowarrior
December 2, 2010 4:15 am

And don’t forget the reference in Patterns of Force.

4 8 15 16 23 42
December 2, 2010 4:48 am

Regarding Zach Quinto, since he is part Italian (and so am I, half-Italian, half-Spanish, and not Jewish), it’s no surprise he looks like he could be of Sephardic Jewish ancestry… I think most people of Mediterranean ancestry could be construed as such. Maybe because I am not anti-Semitic, and maybe because I am not deeply committed to the notion of racial purity, but I cannot really tell the difference between Jews of Sephardic ancestry and “gentiles” of Mediterranean ancestry.

Sebastian
December 2, 2010 6:05 am

Also;
Nicholas Meyer (though not practicing, according to his book)
Rick Berman
Armin Shimerman
Leonard Rosenman (composer, ST IV)
Cliff Eidelman (composer, ST VI)
and JJ Abrams

Happy Hanukkah! ; )

Hat Rick
December 2, 2010 7:27 am

Happy Hanukkah to all my friends in the world of Trek!

December 2, 2010 8:06 am

A wonderful Happy Hannaka to all. Don’t forget Jesus was also a good Jewish boy so again a Happy blessed holiday and break out the trek Menorah! Don’t forget Nick Meyer he’s also a good Jewish boy

margaret
December 2, 2010 9:20 am

If I’m not mistaken, both Chekovs are played by Jewish actors – Anton Yelchin is as well.

Walter Koenig
December 2, 2010 9:57 am

I am fully Jewish. I have a turtle named Irving who is a quarter Jewish.
Walter Koenig

John Cooley
December 2, 2010 10:01 am

Happy Hanukkah Walter!!!!

John Cooley
December 2, 2010 10:01 am

and also to Irving!

Jai
December 2, 2010 10:06 am

Happy Hannukah to all our Jewish friends out there. We Sikhs and Hindus have our own ‘Festival of Lights’ too :)

Jai
December 2, 2010 10:07 am

*cough* Hanukkah, not Hannukah, of course ;)

David G.
December 2, 2010 10:22 am

Can’t wait for all the speculation toward the end of the month about which “Star Trek” actors belong to which Christian denominations……

December 2, 2010 11:05 am

It does not matter if you are christian or jewish. We all came from the same stock jesus a good jewish boy.

John Cooley
December 2, 2010 11:07 am

Hear, Here!

Nathan
December 2, 2010 11:28 am

“Regarding Zach Quinto, since he is part Italian (and so am I, half-Italian, half-Spanish, and not Jewish), it’s no surprise he looks like he could be of Sephardic Jewish ancestry… I think most people of Mediterranean ancestry could be construed as such. Maybe because I am not anti-Semitic, and maybe because I am not deeply committed to the notion of racial purity, but I cannot really tell the difference between Jews of Sephardic ancestry and “gentiles” of Mediterranean ancestry.”

The Nazis agreed with you. ;-)
Italians and other Mediterraneans were considered by them to be ‘inferior races’ as well. Though not so bad as Jews, of course.

I’m ‘half Jewish’ myself, though currently a practicing Christian. But considering Jesus himself celebrated Hanukkah in Jerusalem according to the Gospel of John, it’s all good. :)

Happy Hannukah, and a good and properly penitential Advent to all the Christians here! Deus benedicat vos!

December 2, 2010 11:33 am

#36 its right on about the Hindu festival of lights celebration. This was mentioned on “Data’s Day” on TNG. I’m not not sure but I believe Hannikka began about 1 or 200 BC when the Macchabee family made a deal of sorts to free the chosen people from bondage from the Mede-Persians or another ruling empire. This was a wheeling dealing family that did a lot for their people. And the lights represents the candle lite vigil for the Macchabee family’s success in saving the the Hebrews. #25 I hope this was some help. In the spirit of this Jewish Holiday. Today I evan new some Jewish folks that put up a pine tree Huannikka bush with astar of David topper and Draedel and menoraha ornaments plus other Jewish symbols for ornamemts. A full Menorah was placed at the foot of the “Bush” my uncle married. Aunt Barbara who is Jewish so I felt privaledgd to learn about their culture and customs. They were of the Reformed sect.

Holger
December 2, 2010 12:29 pm

Happy Hannukah to all Jewish Trekkers, to all Jews, and in particular to Walter Koenig, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and all the other Jewish Trek people who were mentioned. Have a nice celebration!

denny cranium
December 2, 2010 12:54 pm

Happy Hanukkah ! to all my Jewish friends out in Trekdom.
Thanks to those that pointed out Jesus’s Jewish roots.
Have a great holiday!

denny cranium
December 2, 2010 1:00 pm

Love the Hanukkah song

Battle-scarred Sciatica
December 2, 2010 1:28 pm

…and happy days to all those out there without religious tendencies!

We know it makes sense!!!!!

December 2, 2010 1:37 pm

Happy Hanukkah to those of the Jewish faith and best wishes.

Marc Klein
December 2, 2010 1:40 pm

Chanukah is 8 days not nine Anthony.

Marc Klein
December 2, 2010 1:42 pm

And I should know what being Jewish and all.

Nathan
December 2, 2010 2:02 pm

#42. That’s incorrect. Hanukkah originated when the Greek Seleucid King Antoniochus IV Ephiphanes began a campaign to destroy the Jewish religion in Israel through radical Hellenization, banning the rites, sabbaths, scriptures, and feasts of their religion, and desecrating the Temple by putting a statue of Zeus in it and sacrificing to him there. In response, the Maccabees, a large rebel army, rebelled and drove the Hellenes from Israel.

The Hanukkah part comes in when the Jews re-dedicated the Temple to God after its defilement under Antiochus. According to legend only a small jug of oil could be found, which would mean the Menorah would go out quickly before more oil could be pressed. However, the oil miraculously lasted eight days, allowing more to be made.

This feast was thus originally the “Feast of the Dedication [of the Temple],” which is how it is mentioned in the Gospel of John. “And it was the Feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem; and it was winter.” (John 10:22)

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