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.
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.
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.