December 4, 2007, - 3:12 pm

Happy Chanukah!: Where Are Today’s Maccabees?

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.

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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.

Amen.
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.

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Chanukah Dreidel

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.
Happy Chanukah!

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Temple Mount Faithful Light Chanukah Menorah in Israel

(Part of the Jewish Temple–the most holy part–has a mosque built on top of it.)

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7 Responses

Happy Chanukah, Debbie and all the best.

Witch-king of Angmar on December 4, 2007 at 3:56 pm

Happy Chanukah DS–
You are forever my favorite Maccabee!

BB on December 4, 2007 at 5:09 pm

Dear Debbie;
I agree with you. Where the hell are all the contemporary Maccabees? Where are all the people who love Israel? I can’t understand why the Jews are hated by so many people in the first place.
Another thing that I don’t get is why the good people of Israel are not rioting in the streets over this obviously anti-Jew; anti-Israel; stupid Annapolis Conference.
And you’ve got Olmert, etc. trying to negotiate with scum bags who won’t even shake your hand.
Think about that. The Arabs really hate your guts. They want you to die. Right now! And you, like some true blue idiot, are trying to make peace.
And then there is Bush, andRice, French kissing every Muslim ass that they can get their lips on.
These people are disgusting.
Sincerely;
EJO

EJO on December 4, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Debbie, Happy Hanukkah. I checked out the TMF website for you, and it’s not a pretty picture. It looks like a tiny group of unattractive ModOx’ers who haven’t had any fun since the Nixon administration. Anyway, if we got rid of the mosque now we wouldn’t have anything to look forward to in the world to come.

Anonymous1 on December 4, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Debbie–
“Minor” holiday though it may be, commemorating those who refused to assimilate to the Greek ways, and thus arguably saving Judaism, it seems pretty important to me.
As to present day Maccabees, you would top a very small list.
Happy Hanukkah from this Catholic, as we look forward to celebrating the birth of the greatest Jew of all time!

Red Ryder on December 5, 2007 at 9:10 am

Happy Chanukah, Debbie! Here in New York the Empire State Building was lit in blue last night, it was a gorgeous sight and it will be for eight days!!!

HelyeahWinnie on December 5, 2007 at 1:36 pm

Even though I am not Jewish I love this story. It is an inspiration in todays world. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us. Happy Chanukah!

MadMom on December 5, 2007 at 4:16 pm

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