Cards sent between David Levin and his mom, Hanukah 1997

I can only imagine what it's like to celebrate the holiday with a grandchild.

Dear Mom,

Happy Hanukah! Hope you have a great holiday with plenty of crispy latkes and sweet chocolate gelt.


David and Amy


Dear David,

How wonderful to hear from you! Of course, it’s not actually Hanukah anymore, but who cares? I’m not surprised I got your card on Christmas with that wife of yours. She probably uses Hanukah candles made of pig fat. Feh.

I just want you to know I bought a lot of presents for any grandchildren you might someday have. Do it fast before these “My Bubbe Loves Me” onesies get eaten by the moths. I’m not such a millionaire to buy new ones.

I hope you enjoy your latkes, too, and get used to eating potatoes because on your salary you won’t be able to afford much else.

Happy Hanukah.


Your mamale


Shirley Levin, one of the greatest guilt-tripping Jewish mothers of the late 80s – mid 90s, is showcased in this gem of the History of the Letter collection. We have come into possession of several of her cards from various Jewish holidays. Even on holidays when letters are not typically exchanged, such as the anniversary of the premiere of Schindler’s List, Mrs. Levin made sure to contact and harangue her son. 

Of course, Hanukah is usually a time of the year when all Jews guilt trip each other about how they secretly wish they were Christian this time of year. Everyone wants a Christmas tree and stockings by the fire and red and green glazed sugar cookies, but it’s considered taboo to admit it, so Jews this time of year tend to overemphasize how much they hate Christmas, which is where the story of the Grinch comes from. Case in point: Mrs. Levin, caught sucking on a candy cane one year, insisted that she was simply trying to make it disappear.

Another year, Mrs. Levin’s own mother, Hetty, underhandedly insisted that a young Shirley eat more latkes, saying, “Nobody will ever want you anyway, so you might as well be fat.”


1 Comment

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One response to “Cards sent between David Levin and his mom, Hanukah 1997

  1. Julie

    What Jewish mother guilt? And by the way I have this adorable knitted dreidel for my first grandchild whenever and if ever I have one already. I’m just saying.

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