Judas

PARIS: Daughter of Judas.

Judas Iscariot, disciple of Jesus Christ and originally one of the Twelve Apostles. According to the gospels, Judas betrayed Jesus Christ, by kissing him on the cheek and calling him “master”. This led to Jesus being easily identified in a crows, leading to his arrest and being handed over to the authorities. His name is often used synonymously with betrayal or treason.

Paris obviously sees herself as the “master” and Rory the “disciple” in their relationship as president and vice-president. Paris (wrongly) thinks that Rory has contacted the headmaster, and getting her into trouble with the “authorities”, as Judas did to Jesus Christ.

Toledo

KIRK: Today we have … various marzipan fruits made by a sect of cloistered nuns in Toledo.

Toledo is a city of around 80 000 people in central Spain on the Tagus River, known as the “City of Three Cultures”, for the influences of Christians, Jews and Muslims on its history. There are several convents of cloistered nuns in the city, and many of them do indeed specialise in making sweets such as marzipan.

Eight Days of Hanukkah

PARIS: The place smelled like cinnamon all the time, and there was a fire in the fireplace, and a ton of presents. I mean, hundreds of presents. I’m looking at this mound of gifts, and I’m thinking, ‘Eight days of Hanukkah . . . who was the skinflint who thought up that deal?’

RORY: Don’t the eight days symbolize something?

PARIS: Yes, they symbolize eight days of ripping off the little kids who can’t have a Hanukkah bush.

The eight days of Hanukkah honour the eight days that one small portion of oil miraculously lasted during the cleansing and reconsecrating of the Jewish Temple after it had been defiled. It is traditional to light candles, pray, and sing songs during Hanukkah, as well as eating foods fried in oil. Gift-giving isn’t a traditional part of Hanukkah, although children are often given money, special gold coins, or chocolate coins.

Hanukkah Bush

PARIS: One year, I asked my mother if we could get a Hanukkah bush. She made me watch Shoah the rest of the week.

A Hanukkah bush is a bush or tree (real or artificial) that some Jewish families in North America display in their homes for the duration of Hanukkah. It may, for all intents and purposes, be a Christmas tree with Jewish-themed ornaments.

It is a bone of contention between Jews as to whether it is a distinctly Jewish symbol, or whether it is simply a variation of a Christmas tree. Many rabbis discourage them. The phrase “Hanukkah bush” is not serious, and generally meant to be a tongue in cheek way to say that a Jewish family is following some pleasant secular Christmas traditions without celebrating Christmas itself.

The documentary film Shoah, previously discussed. Paris’ mother obviously takes a fairly hard line approach to Hanukkah bushes.

Saint Nick

[Luke and Jess walk out of the diner; Jess is carrying a garbage bag] ….

LORELAI: Hi, Saint Nick.

Saint Nicholas of Myra (270-343), a bishop in the early Christian church of Greek descent, living in Myra in Asia Minor (now Demre in Turkey). Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of (among other things) children and students, and his feast day is December 6.

The saint’s legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional Christian icon of Santa Claus, through the Dutch figure Sinterklaas. On December 6, his feast day is celebrated with gift-giving, and the saint is portrayed as an elderly, serious man with long white hair and a beard, wearing red vestments over a white bishop’s robe.

Saint Nick is an English translation of Sinterklaas, and the American Santa Claus and Christmas traditions which arose in the 19th century seem to be a nostalgic revival of earlier Dutch folklore from immigrants to New York. Santa Claus is called Saint Nick in the Christmas poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, previously discussed.

Lorelai calls Jess “Saint Nick” because he is carrying a garbage bag, which Lorelai likens to Santa’s sack of presents. This is the second time that Lorelai has sarcastically referred to Jess as Santa Claus or Saint Nick – the first time was to accuse him of stealing Rory’s bracelet. Using the reference again seems to be a veiled barb, and a reminder to Jess that she is watching him.

Dave Kisses Lane

LANE: Really? After all this – the marathon hymns, the weak punch, the crabby Koreans, you still wanna go out on a date with me?

[Dave nods, then kisses her] DAVE: I’ve gotta go . . . but I’m gonna call you tomorrow.

Lane and Dave puts into place what I assume to be another step in their plan when Lane says she needs to run after Dave to return his Bible. Did Dave really bring a Bible with him, and purposefully leave it behind, or did Lane prepare and plant the Bible in advance?

Either way, one or the other had the genius idea of having Dave inscribe the Bible: This Bible belongs to God, but is being used by Dave Rygalski. Mrs Kim reads this, and it immediately convinces her that Dave is a solid young Christian man, and allows Lane to go after him.

This episode is the one where Dave and Lane kiss for the first time, and begin dating (Rory kissed and began dating both Dean and Jess around Thanksgiving, too, and it was when Lorelai went on her first date with Max – November, it’s dating month on Gilmore Girls!).

Lane is so excited by what happened that when she pages Rory to tell her all about it, she can only write bible kiss bible, which Rory says is a great band name.

Hymn 17

Mrs Kim asks Dave to play “Hymn 17” while they eat dinner. Lane was hoping to persuade her mother to let Dave eat Thanksgiving dinner with them, but alas, she has apparently hired Dave to play while they eat.

I’m not really sure about this one, but in the Seventh Day Adventist hymnal, No. 17 is “Lord of All Being, Throned Afar”, written and composed by Oliver Wendell Holmes . The lyrics are quite interesting if you read them as pertaining to Lane and Dave’s situation:

Lord of all being, throned afar,
Thy glory flames from sun and star;
Centre and soul of every sphere,
Yet to each loving heart how near!
Yet to each loving heart how near!

Sun of our life, Thy quickening ray
Shed on our path the glow of day;
Star of our hope, Thy softened light
Cheers the long watches of the night,
Cheers the long watches of the night.

Our midnight is Thy smile withdrawn;
Our noontide is Thy gracious dawn;
Our rainbow arch, Thy mercy’s sign;
All, save the clouds of sin, are Thine,
All, save the clouds of sin, are Thine.

Lord of all life, below, above,
Whose light is truth, whose warmth is love,
Before Thy ever-blazing throne
We ask no lustre of our own,
We ask no lustre of our own.

Grant us Thy truth to make us free,
And kindling hearts that burn for Thee;
Till all Thy living altars claim
One holy light, one heavenly flame!
One holy light, one heavenly flame!

Yes, their loving hearts are near (nearer than Mrs Kim realises!), and they hope for the day that truth will make them free. It feels like an ardent prayer for mercy upon them so that their “kindling hearts” will eventually be “one flame”.

“From your mouth to God’s ears”

LORELAI: Well, here’s hoping your cat exposes itself to you soon.

KIRK: From your mouth to God’s ears.

From your mouth to God’s ears is an idiomatic Yiddish saying, indicating that the speaker wishes whatever has been to come true. Although similar such proverbs can be found in the Bible, the expression only seems to exist in Jewish/Yiddish literature from the middle of the 19th century. The saying is also common in Arabic, and this is possibly its origin.