Hanukkah 2012: The Festival of Lights

Saturday at sundown on December 8th of 2012 begins Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. This holiday of blue and white beauty has rich traditions. This is the real story of what Hanukkah means. Photo: Jonathan Cohen (Flickr)

LOS ANGELES, December 8, 2012 — This is the time of year when beautiful blue and white traditions are sung:

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the Menorah…
Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, we’ll all dance the horah…
Gather around the table, we’ll give you a treat…
Lots of tasty chocolates, and latkes to eat…
Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the Menorah….

Happy Chaka Khan! Time to break out the Dreidels (spinning tops) and spin them faster than an ultracentrifuge.

At sundown on Saturday, December 8th, the Hebrews get ready to celebrate the festival of lights. From now through December 16th, Hanukkah spreads blue and white beauty and tradition to Jews scattered throughout the four corners of the world.

For the linguistically challenged, both spellings of the holiday have eight letters. Adding a “C” requires subtracting a “K.” It is Chanukah or Hanukkah.

Regarding the holiday itself, it is time to dispel some myths. People like to pass on beautiful stories of miracles. People hear that the Jewish fighters only had enough oil for one day, and miracle of miracles, the oil magically lasted for eight days. For those with small children, have them leave the room so some hard truths can be discussed.

Santa Claus is not real and Palestinians are indigenous to Egypt and Jordan. Oh, and this oil lasting for eight days is the warm, fuzzy, sanitized story told to children.

So what is Hanukkah really?

Hanukkah is the Jewish version of July 4th. It is a Neocon holiday. The Jews fought some Greeks in battle, and b(redacted)-slapped them. That’s it.

Many people think of Jews as long-suffering weaklings. This is partly due to Jewish comedians playing on stereotypes of angst-ridden and guilt-ridden leftist Jews afraid of their own shadows. Most Jews historically  were actually not weak, sniveling crybabies begging our enemies to like us. This battered housewife syndrome of blaming the victim is a relatively new, unpleasant phenomenon.

Real Jewish history has revolved around military strength. With all due respect to the Greek people of today, back then they were the bad guys. They destroyed the first Holy Temple, but the Maccabees took care of them. Gorgias? Get out of here! Nicanor? Knock it off!

The second coming of Judah Maccabee is Paul Wolfowitz. Actually, the word Maccabee means “hammer,” so perhaps the second coming is Charles Krauthammer. The lessons of Hanukkah applied perfectly to the Iraq War. If the world has any common sense, the Maccabee method of problem-solving will be applied to the mullahs in Iran and Bashar Assad in Syria immediately.

Winning wars is why Jews still exist. For those troubled by this: Deal with it.

Yet the actual celebration of Hanukkah is a tad bittersweet for those who are educated about this holiday. Jews won on the battlefield but lost that war.

What this means is that there was a major difference between how the Jews and the Greeks celebrated their holidays. Greeks celebrated holidays created in the wake of their military victories, which were many. Jewish tradition was to not name holidays after military successes. Jews did not glorify bloody triumphs.

The Greeks ordered Jews to assimilate or be killed. Thankfully Jews never had to face that threat again. Just kidding. Jews were fighting for the right to remain independently Jewish, without forced assimilation into Greek culture. So after Judah Maccabbee and his brothers helped the people of Israel crush the Greeks in battle, the first thing the Maccabees did was hoist a flag of victory and declare this military victory a Jewish holiday.

After fighting for the right to prevent assimilation, Jews adopted a Greek tradition anyway. Assimilation is still deadly to Judaism. To this day, some would argue that what Hitler failed to do to the Jews, Jews do internally through a 52 percent intermarriage rate.

Cynical people would say that the Jews broke the war rule because they were so used to losing that even they were shocked to have won. Concern existed that never again would the Jews win anything. This is nonsense. Others say that Jews needed to adopt different traditions to provide flexibility in the future for those wishing to declare themselves Jewish without actually obeying any traditions.

Hanukkah is actually the least important holiday in the Jewish calendar. It is an excuse to party for eight days, or fourteen  if one counts pre-Hanukkah and post-Hanukkah parties. The only reason Hanukkah gets attention is because it occurs around Christmas.

Returning to the Neocon aspect of this holiday, Hanukkah is a political holiday that the 70-80 percent of Jews desperate to sing Kumbaya with those hating our guts would do well to heed. The lesson of Hanukkah is simple: Force works. There is no dialogue or negotiation with those refusing to recognize your right to exist. Survival is not pretty. It often involves spilling a large amount of blood. Collateral damage is unfortunate, but must not be a deterrent. When the enemy is on his knees with his face bleeding, negotiation is possible.

The other Maccabean era lesson is mercy. Jews did not rape Greek women, chop heads and limbs off, enslave anyone, or indiscriminately engage in deliberate cruelty. We defended ourselves. In keeping with values that unite Jews and Americans to this day, both remain good people using their power for noble purposes. America through economic and military power, and Jews through their sense of justice, help feed, clothe, protect, and defend others worldwide, many of whom are neither Jewish nor American.

Hanukkah celebrates serious life-saving accomplishments, but it is also a lighthearted holiday filled with food, alcohol, and global candle-lighting ceremonies. The Hebrew people have had much darkness, but the next eight nights bring only light. Rituals and traditions vary among Jewish sects and cultures, but they are all about six thousand years of blue and white history from Brooklyn to Jerusalem and everywhere else.

So as I light candles and hope that a certain young Republican Hebrew brunette shows up at my door wearing only a blue and white Hanukkah bow (negotiations are ongoing), I look forward to the next eight nights.

Happy Hanukkah everybody! Shalom!

Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”

Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Read more from Eric at TYGRRRR EXPRESS

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Eric Golub

Eric Golub is a politically conservative Jewish blogger, author, public speaker, and comedian. His book trilogy is “Ideological Bigotry,” “Ideological Violence,” and  “Ideological Idiocy.” 

He is Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and has lived in Los Angeles since 1990. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of Judaism, and his MBA from USC. A stockbrokerage professional since 1994, he began blogging on March 11th, 2007, the three year anniversary of the Madrid bombings and the midpoint of 9/11. He has been inflicting his world view on his unfortunate readers since then. He blogs about politics Monday through Friday, and about football and other human interest items on weekends.

 

 

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