December 4, 2007, - 3:12 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
To my Jewish Friends & Readers:
I wish you a Chag Chanukah Sameach [Happy Chanukah]! Thanks to all of you who sent e-cards and e-mail wishes to me. Right back at ya.
I always spent at least one of the nights of Chanukah lighting the Menorah (candelabra–on Chanukah, it has 9 prongs for candles; see below) and saying the Chanukah blessings with my late father. This is the first Chanukah without him, so this holiday–one of my favorites–will be bittersweet. But we both loved this holiday because it is a celebration of the Jews–under siege and with all odds against them–vanquishing their enemy.
Today, that enemy–Islamism–is not just the Jews’ enemy. It is the enemy of us all. Will we receive the Chanukah-style miracles against it that our necessary for its defeat? Well, we Jews believe that G-d helps those who help themselves. He helped the Maccabees, but it was they who took the initiative to fight. Today, I see very few Maccabees and way too many Hellenists–those who allied with the Greek oppressor in the Chanukah story.
Last year, I received an e-mail message from my friend, the great American patriot, Ruth S. King. Her message which embodies my sentiments to all of my readers, regardless of faith, so I republish it here, as I did last year:
I’m never a hundred percent sure of how to spell it, but I do know that it is a holiday of triumph of good versus evil and Jews versus their oppressors. May you and all those you love have a healthy and wonderful holiday. May we prevail over the millions of enemies we have. May America and Israel survive in strength, deterrence and determination. And, a special thanks to those not of our faith whose friendship and support are crucial and inspiring.
A little more about Chanukah: The eight-day Jewish holiday starts at sundown tonight, the first of eight nights and days. And I cannot wait to light my Menorah (the 9 candle candelabra–the ninth one, the “shamash,” lights the other eight).
Contrary to Hallmark and American Greetings, Chanukah (also spelled a million other ways as Ruth King notes above; see explanation, below) is NOT a major Jewish holiday. But it has been “elevated” to one, due to its close proximity on the calendar to Christmas. Still, it is the magnificent story of the will to survive coupled with so many miracles. It has so many lessons for the fight we face against extremist Muslims all over the world.
Here is more from my previous recounting of Chanukah from last year. Sadly, so much of it remains an “evergreen”:
The Chanukah story is that of the Maccabees, who were vastly outnumbered by the Greeks, but valiantly fought them anway . . . and beat them. We are constantly told the figure of 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide. But if we don’t fight their extremism and their wish to take over the world and just give up, we won’t win.
And Chanukah is the story of the fight for religious freedom. Matityahu (Matthew) the Maccabee, and his son Judah (after him), led a revolt against Antiochus Epiphanies, the Greek leader, who wanted the Jews to give up their religion and assimilate.
Like today, in those days, there were many Hellenists, Jews who wanted to assimilate and give in to the Greeks. Today, they are my fellow co-religionists–parties with names like Sharona Shapiro, Brenda Rosenberg, and the Jewish Community Council of Metro Detroit–who cozy up to extremist Muslims in Dearbornistan who support Hezbollah, HAMAS, Holocaust denial, and Ahmadinejad.
There are other Hellenists like Brian Moskowitz a/k/a “Abu Moskowitz,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge for Michigan/Ohio who on a regular basis panders to the most extremist, terror-supporting Muslims he can find. For a raid, last week, of an Islamic organization, ACCESS–the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services–he instructed agents that they could not wear their normal tactical gear or use long guns and rifles, as they always do, when rounding up Hispanics and other illegal aliens. He told them to wear khakis and professional dress and use pistols. “Because we can’t scare the Muslims”–that’s the goal above and beyond the safety of agents and the preservation of our national security.
But there are plenty of non-Jewish Hellenists in our society, too. They are people like Daniel Sutherland–who’s made it his job at Homeland Security to help our Islamofascist enemies and advance their causes.
They are reporters like Rick Hampson, who wrote a front page USA Today story, this week, about how persecuted Arabs in America are (they were all Muslim in the story, no Christians). The article, filled with inaccuracies and false information, spoke of how Muslims are afraid to apply for hunting licenses. Hello . . .? Muslims generally don’t hunt–because the food they’d kill isn’t Halal. A real reporter would look into this instead of taking their Chicken Little “the sky is falling on ‘innocent’ Muslims” word for it.
But not the Hellenists. Our modern day Hellenists–the modern day liberal enablers of extremist Islam–are helping the modern day Antiochus Greeks. Time for us all to be the Maccabees. And put an end to this stuff.
The mighty Greek Empire fell, and so will extremist Islam . . . if we have the will to survive before it’s too late.
We light the Menorah–one candle for each of the eight nights–to symbolize the miracle that, once the Maccabees defeated the Greeks, a bottle of oil that was supposed to last only one day, lasted for eight days, and the candles of the Menorah in the Jewish Temple miraculously burned for eight days, while new oil was made.
On Chanukah, Israelis eat jelly donuts, called “sufganiyot,” and the rest of us eat fried potato pancakes, called “latkes.” We also play a game with a spinning top called a “dreidel,” with Hebrew letters on it that stand for the phrase, “A great miracle happened there [or here, if you're in Israel].”
From Shraga Simmons and Shimon Apisdorf at Matityahu’s Revolt:
The name “Maccabee” is an acronym for the [Biblical] verse “Who is compared to You among the mighty, oh Lord” (Exodus 15:11).
I’m frequently asked why Chanukah is spelled so many different ways in English. That’s because transliterating Hebrew into English is all phonetic and yields no one certain result.
More on Chanukah from Judaism 101, Matityahu’s Revolt, and the Constantia Hebrew Congregation of Capetown, South Africa.
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