A crowded warehouse north of downtown is packed with holiday floats but there's one here that is very different. It's s the pride and joy of Rabbi Mendy Traxler..
"This is amazing. This is. I'm glad we were able to put it together. This is awesome! he laughs. Chabad Outreach of Houston has entered the first ever Chanukah float the city has ever seen. I mean ever.
It's no secret that Jews have faced discrimination pretty much everywhere they've gone, so you might be thinking that could be behind it. However it's not. It's a matter of timing.
"Because we go according to the lunar calendar we lose ten days every 2-3 years and we add an additional month getting back those thirty days that we lost." he says.
So that means the holiday "floats around" in our calendar.. Sometimes the holiday comes sooner.. Sometimes later... This year it's really early. It hasn't fallen on Thanksgiving since 1888... And it won't again until 2070..
On the surface having Chanukah float may seem like an odd thing compared to the other ones.. But the rabbi says it makes perfect sense.. Thanksgiving is a celebration of religious freedom and so is Chanukah..
True there were no Jews on the Mayflower.. but Jews have been part of the American experience since before there was a United States.. and here in Texas jews fought at a number of key battles for independence including San Jacinto.
So not only is this float unique in the history of Houston. It may be unique period.
"I don't know. I haven't seen any of my friends doing it so I think we're going to be the only Chanukah float in a national parade. " he says.