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The Hanukkah aisle at Hobby Lobby

Early in December I was cruising the aisles of Hobby Lobby with my grandson when what to my wondering eye should appear but an endcap devoted to Hanukkah. I wasn’t surprised, yet in some ways I was.

Hobby Lobby makes no secret of being a Christian company, closed on Sundays like Chick-fil-A. Yet it has plenty of aisles devoted to Santas, reindeer, snowmen, and nutcrackers, as well as secular seasonal items for Halloween, Easter and pretty much every holiday in-between. So why not a nod towards a Jewish festival? At least items are 50% off, like most things in the store.

Even so, there are only fifteen items here, none of which look that appealing. I took this picture four weeks before the first night of Hanukkah, so I wouldn’t expect the shelves to be bare yet. It appears to be little more than an afterthought. Or a bone thrown to appease someone who complained that this tradition was excluded. Plus, is this what Jewish families shop for as the festival of lights draws near? I suspect not. Is this what one would expect to see in a typical Jewish family’s home? Not if the festival is more about family gathering, prayers and special foods than decorations and cookies.

I believe Jesus came down hard on those in the temple who capitalized on religious observance. I suspect he would do the same today.

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