the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Can Jews Have Sex During Hanukkah?


Help!  Today is Thanksgiving!  That means, that Sophia and I are going over to Beth and Roger’s home for dinner.  They are lovely people and I’m sure everything will be terrific.  It’s just that their family is so… not Jewish. 

I hate to bring this up, but you know that scene in Annie Hall when Annie Hall’s family looks at Woody Allen like he is a Hasid.  It’s not the ham that bothers me.  They also serve turkey.   I’ve gotten used to all the pumpkin-colored sweaters that everyone wears.  I can even deal with everyone holding hands before the meal and thanking Jesus, our Savior.  And it’s not even the drunken woman who actually asked me last year “Can Jews can have sex during Hanukkah?” 

For me, the big problem is… the football. 

After the Thanksgiving meal, the women hang out in the kitchen while the men go into the living room to watch sports.   Bleh!  Call me a metrosexual if you want, but from my point of view, shouldn’t men WANT to hang around with the gender that smells good and has tits?

Last year, Sophia pushed me into the living room, hoping I’d do some male bonding.  I did get one good laugh out of the guys, when I mistakenly called NASCAR as NASDAQ. 

This year, I want to be prepared for the inevitable male-bonding:

Who is playing in the big game today and what are the names of the top players of each team?   Women are not the only ones who know how to fake things.

P.S. — If you haven’t had a chance to “Thank Your First Commenter,” feel free to do so today!


  1. Leesa

    Actually, I’ll be watching Football 🙂
    Cowboys vs Buccaneers, of course.
    Oh and Detroit plays Miami.

  2. lux lisbon

    Sorry I can’t help you. I loathe American football. I have to give a million thanks that I don’t have to listen to a room full of grown men screaming at the television and waving fists in the air. You have my condolences.

  3. Mr. Fabulous

    Oh, I’m sure all you guys will be talking about Desperate Housewives.

    Or is that show already yesterday’s news?

    I have GOT to start watching Entertainment Tonight…

  4. Blitz Krieg

    There are three games this year Neil!

    Miami Dolphins @ Detroit Lions (Joey Harrington’s return to Detroit!)

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys (Nobodys vs Tony Romo and T.O)

    Denver Broncos @ Kansas City Chiefs (Jake the Snake vs Trent Green)

    Enjoy and remember to yell during all extra points and field goals, “Block that Kick!”

  5. The Retropolitan

    I’m with you on this one, Neil. Stay with the food and the women. Or at least play video games with the kids.

  6. Michele

    You could beg out and say you have a writing project that you need to work on…

    Good luck. I don’t know a rat’s ass about football.

  7. better safe than sorry

    my husband actually takes today off work and heads to the local watering hole to do male bonding with a group of guys that also happen to have the day off to watch the game and have some turkey. maybe i should leave you his cell number so you could call him for some updates!
    good luck (i have no idea who’s playing) and happy thanksgiving to you and your lovely sophia.

  8. Megan

    You should so come to my family Thanksgiving. We’re not Jews, either, but we’re Irish and Italian so It’s always a hoot. And nobody watches football.

    What was your response to the sex during Hanukkah question? I would have so no, because we can only do it with the lights ON.

    Happy Thanksgiving, hon.

  9. JanePoe (aka Deborah)

    I kind of like the idea of you going all Woody Allen ala Alvy Singer. Happy Thanksgiving Neil & Sophia! JP

  10. 2nd Pearl Past the Post

    Maybe you could stuff a wad of toilet paper down a sink drain and do your male bonding over “emergency” plumbing instead? Diversionary tactics as a back up plan only you understand. Fake it til you make it could work too.

  11. Rhea

    Metrosexuals rule! Football is boring. Have a great holiday, everyone!

  12. Dawn

    I HATE the women in the kitchen thing! Ummm…some of us want to watch the game. So I just help with the dishes and then it’s off to watch the Lions lose. 🙂

  13. 3rdtimesacharm( 3T )

    I wish you two were spending Thanksgiving with us. You could drink champagne on the patio with me and the other women. (I wouldn’t force you to watch the game.)As it stands, my husband will be watching the games with the only other person who likes sports. My X-husband.(Welcome to the New Age family Holiday)
    On the Jesus-thing? He was Jewish anyway. 😉
    I hope you and Sophia have a Happy (and relaxing) Thanksgiving!


  14. Leah

    Do Jews have sex during Hanukkah?! Harhahahrhrhahaharhaha. That’s so funny. I’m sure she felt pretty retarded after someone told her [later] she was an idiot. On the opposite side, I think I told you about the time that I was at my friend’s seder and “kindly informed them” that they had left the front door open. (In the middle of the meal.) They laughed at me and said it was for Elijah. (All I could think was…if I was a hoodlum interested in robbing people, then I should drive around during seder and look for people with their front doors open. I mean, it was a good neighborhood…but puh-leeze! You never know!)

    And in terms of the football for today, if you just 1)drink lots of beer and 2)give a “Woot!Woot!” occasionally, I think you’ll be fine. They’ll never know.

  15. Becky

    The football is one thing I’m NOT going to miss today…although I think my kids will probably turn the game on after dinner.

    Wishing you and Sophia a very great Thanksgiving.

  16. he's dead, jim!

    OK, I screwed up on the HTML.
    the first link should be and the second ought to be


  17. ms. sizzle

    i’m so glad i am a woman. football. blech. i just can’t get into it! good luck with that- i’m no help to you on this one.

  18. Two Roads

    Men are welcome in my kitchen anytime – don’t wait for Thanksgiving to get an invite! Enjoy your day!

  19. Two Roads

    As for the sex during hanukkah – your retort could have been something like – “No, we give it up for lent”

  20. treespotter

    neil, i so totally relate to this.

    Until i went to Australia and found myself in a room full of girls shouting and yelling to their Aussie rules (google it for details but it involves pulling heads off). My advice: go downunder.

  21. brooke

    In this one instance we would make a perfect couple. You can hang out in the kitchen doing dishes and I can watch football with the boys. See? It finally worked out for us.

  22. Non-Highlighted Heather

    You’re what Grammy Hall would call a real Jew.

    (Thanks for peddling out the Annie Hall. xo)

  23. gorillabuns

    my husband hangs out with the women as a rule. that’s where the alcohol is bogarded.

    happy thanksgiving!

  24. Scarlet

    I hate the after the meal part of Thanksgiving. That’s why I’m glad we’re going out today. That way, I can eat then go home.

  25. cruisin-mom

    I think the Lakers are playing the Mets, no?

  26. plain jane

    NEWS FLASH! The women aren’t “hanging out” in the kitchen, they are spending hours cleaning up after a massive meal. Grab an apron and offer to help and you will be a hero for life.

    Sorry about the football, that would be torture.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  27. Wendy

    Ok, except for the football, you just described my experience at my sister-in-laws for virtually every meal – the grace just about kills me because I never quite know what the hell I am supposed to be doing – i offered to bring something we have (in MY family – does that make it too Jewish?) every year for T-day and was politely rebuffed…this is where I just say pass the wine and block it out…… Happy Thanksgiving Neil!

  28. Alexandra

    Of course Jews can’t have sex during Hanukkah. As for the big game today, its the Red Socks versus the Blue Balls. If the Red Socks win this game, then they are in the championships. Thats all you need to know. Betting odds stand at 12:1 in favor of the Red Socks. The Blue Balls only made it this far by a weird fluke of luck. Good luck today (& happy Thanksgiving!!!)

  29. Mist 1

    I’ve never faked it. Seriously. I just don’t like football.

  30. Ally

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    I like football enough when the crowd is good (and if they have cute guys. j/k).

  31. Jack

    Do Jews have sex during Hanukkah?

    Twice a day, at a minimum.

  32. Ellen Bloom

    Neil….you are soooo funny. I hope Jews can have sex during Chanukah! If not, I’ve been disgracing my tribe for years.

    On the football thing. I, too, hate football. Luckily, my metro-sexual, photographer husband doesn’t like it either. HOWEVER, when we’re in the situation of having to watch, we pull out our crocheting and/or knitting and sit there with everyone else. Let me know if you’d like to learn how to crochet or knit. Think of all the adorable things you could made for the lovely Sophia!
    Happy Thanksgiving, Dahling.

    L.A. Ell

  33. Lou P.

    Thanksgiving = great meal, family, and football. It’s the one day when you can (normally) watch a game in peace. And you eschew this? I’m disappointed.

  34. eek

    Happy Thanksgiving. I have no idea who played today, but that could partially be because I’m totally drunk right now.

  35. my backyard

    This is a great title!
    The post itself is entertaining, too.

  36. Churlita

    Yeah, football is wasted on me too. I like to eat, so I’m all about the food holidays.

  37. bella

    I just Thank You Neil! Cause you are the President and all. Should I bow down now?

  38. Sedulia

    One of the things I lo-o-o-o-ve about Thanksgiving in France.

  39. Sandra Dee

    You chose an excellent picture to depic football, my friend.

    I love my Cowpokes.

    The Dallas game was fun, no?

    (Who says girls can’t like football?! :))

  40. NSC


    Give me the gender that smells good and has tits over grunting male football fans any day of the week.

    It’s like that Kids in the Hall comedy skit where this one island native guy is chastised by his friend for staying in the villiage with the women while the rest of the men go out to hunt the great white shark. Shark-hunter keeps trying to convince “Stay behind guy” that he cannot be a man if he doesn’t join the hunt, but keeps getting interrupted by the women of the village as they stroll by reminding stay-behind guy that he needs to stop by and “fix their plumbing” or whatever little chore that needs doing.

    It’s obvious to everyone but the shark-hunter that the real man is staying behind taking care of business while the other guys hunting.

    Which reminds me, most of the guys on the street are out deer hunting about now so I must take my leave – things to do you know.

  41. fringes

    The picture you chose to illustrate Thanksgiving day football is a dead giveaway that you have no idea at all what’s going on. Fakery is out of the question for you, my friend. I hope someone was at the dinner bringing back the sexy Bach, giving you someone to talk to.

  42. Elisabeth

    For a French woman, I have, over the years, appropriated all that good, American Thanksgiving stuff rather nicely:
    – I ate too much turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, and yams casserole (the only thing that I prepared myself were the mashed potatoes and the gravy – my sweetheart made the turkey and stuffing, our guests brought a yams casserole and also a corn-based casserole.)
    – I watched football. A sport I actually like. We wanted the Dolphins to lose, because they had defeated the Chicago Bears a few weeks ago. Damn, they won.
    – I conked out in front of the tube at roughly 8:00 p.m. It’s that tryptophan in the turkey.

    And – no, you can’t have sex during Hanukkah. You need to find a gentile to do it for you (there is some background to this – I’ll blog about it tomorrow.)

  43. Otir

    Ha ha ha! love your posts Neil (I know I am one day too late again, but I’m sure that’s okey).

    I also was invited at my non-Jewish friends for Thanksgiving, and I love it. I don’t know why, but my Jewish friends simply don’t remember me when it comes to inviting us, so I have to be happy like that (otherwise I would easily go on terrible lashonhara here).

    Yesterday I was asked to say graces after they said theirs, I guess my host wanted to be nice to me, but he mentioned “and you will say graces for us in yiddish”, I had to apologize, that I would say something nice too, but in English (my son would have fainted to hear me say something in Yiddish that I don’t speak at all of course, why would French Jews speak yiddish after all?).

    We did not have football but Macy’s parade on Tivo, does that count?

  44. Crankster

    Football isn’t so much a gentile thing as an idiot thing.

  45. darlin't

    It’s funny, I grew up in Texas and yet football was never a part of my Thanksgiving. In fact, we never really even turned on the television on that day. We had family slideshows though.

    This year I caught part of the parade on TV and GOOD LORD! I don’t know how people can watch that crap. You’re lucky you missed it.

  46. V-Grrrl

    I spent Thanksgiving eating a Filet-o-Fish sandwich at the McD’s in Rome.

    I also visited the Jewish Ghetto there where the nice Christians segregated and persecuted their Jewish *friends* and REQUIRED them to listen to sermons on Sunday. Sheesh.

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