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Hanukkah
The holidays loom

Henry Furhmann at the Los Angeles Times has beaten me to the punch this year with advice against the holiday cliches that any writer with a modicum of self-respect will shun. But I think I am still catching you in advance of the first ’Tis the season, so once more with the holiday cautions.   Repetition is the point of ritual. Ritual achieves continuity and reassurance through the familiarity of its patterns. You can be sure that you will hear “O Come, All Ye Faithful” at the late service on Christmas Eve, that you will eat the same food at family holiday dinners, that you will make the same toasts at New Year’s. That is as it should be. Unfortunately,...

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