Chanukah Goes Greek at the Grove

The culture clash – or mesh – was everywhere at the Grove in Los Angeles the Sunday before Christmas and Chanukah.

Not only did the Christmas quartet serenade a shopping Chasidic family with rounds of the Chanukah standard Mi Yamalel in front of Santa’s House, but the well-crafted Chanukah display was inadvertantly placed to evoke the holiday’s original culture clash.

Ezra, my 13-year-old son, noticed that the 7-foot-high Menorah and presents stood right in front of the restaurant, Greek Meze Cuisine.

It was of course the attempts of the Seleucid rulers to impose Greek culture in the Holy Land that led Judah Maccabee to revolt. Little did Judah know that the symbol of his fight against assimilation would be served up some 1,800 years later with a side of feta and grape leaves.