December 8, 2012, - 9:45 pm
I wish all my Jewish friends, readers, and commenters a Happy Chanukah (also spelled Hanukkah, Hannukah, Chanukkah, Channukah, and assorted other transliterated ways), or as we say in Hebrew, “Chag Chanukah Sameach.” Thanks to all of you, both Jew and Gentile, who sent me so many nice Chanukah wishes, e-cards, e-mails, and other such salutations.
Chanukah, which began at sundown tonight, is not just about the miracle that a jar of oil to light the candelabra in the Jewish Temple lasted eight days instead of the one day it would normally last. Chanukah is the commemoration of the courageous victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks that took not just eight days, but decades (it took over two decades before the Maccabees finally defeated the Greeks and the Hellenists and were victorious). And it’s not just the miracle of the Maccabees defeating King Antiochus and his forces, it’s the spiritual fight that the Maccabees fought that left many Jews dead as well.
Those Jews were the Hellenists who gave up traditional Judaism for something less spiritual, more material. And the Maccabees slaughtered many of them as well, as was their duty. Sadly, today, the Jewish people is dominated by Hellenism on steroids. Another phrase for them is “Obama voters.” These are JINOs–Jews In Name Only, who long ago gave up spiritual Judaism for liberalism and an “ethnic” or “cultural” Judaism that really isn’t historically or religiously Jewish, such as eating deli food, giving their lives for the rights of Blacks who hate them, and pandering to Muslims and hosting Israel-haters at synagogues. All of these Jews would have been eliminated by the Maccabees, as they did then in order to reclaim Judaism from a virus of Hellenists.
Many of those modern-day Hellenist Jews are tonight eating latkes–the delicious, fried potato pancakes we traditionally eat on the holiday. But they keep very little Judaism and work against the interests and the very future existence of the Jewish people. The Chanukah story is about their defeat. The defeat of the Hellenists then, and the defeat of them now. We won’t do that through violence. They will do that through their attrition and atrophy from Judaism. In a few generations or less, they’ll be gone and the traditional Jews will remain.
As Jewish holidays go, Chanukah is a minor one. It is not on the level of Christmas, though it’s been artificially been elevated to that status by lazy parents and eager marketers and retailers. Back in Europe and Israel, parents never gave their kids gifts for the holiday, just “gelt” (gold–usually gold coins).
While it lasts eight days, we work and go about our business on those eight days except while the menorah candles are burning. We light candles on the menorah (Jewish candelabra) in progressive numbers on each night–one for the first night, two for the second night, and so on. We also light another candle each night which is known at the shamash. It is the candle used to light the other menorah candles, and it is required to be higher than the other candles, which are required to be all of the same height. The candles are required to burn at least a half hour.
As I mentioned earlier, Chanukah is the story of the few against the many–-the few Maccabees, led by Matthew [Matityahu, and then, after his death, Matthew's son, Judah [Yehudah], who fought against oppression by Greek-Assyrian (Seleucid) King Antiochus Epiphanies and miraculously beat him and his army, which far outnumbered the Jews. It’s the story of the one jar of olive oil which miraculously lasted eight days–the amount of time it took to make more jars–in lighting the menorah [candelabra] in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. All other jars had been destroyed or made impure by the Greeks, and it was the one jar that miraculously survived intact. Above all, Chanukah is about the age-old, repeat fight of the Jewish people for religious freedom.
As we Jews face a bleak future with Islamic extremism and violence on the rise and Iran about to attain its nuclear goal, it’s especially meaningful (or should be). And as I noted earlier, we also face an enemy within, just as the Jews and their Maccabees fought in their own community back in the day. The Hellenists were Jews who wanted to forsake Judaism for the secularism of the Greeks. Today, those same Jews are the ones who’ve forsaken Judaism for the altar of Barack Obama and gun control and abortion rights and so on. They’re the ones who continue to pander and “outreach” to our avowed enemies in the Islamic community. I’ve written about so many of them on this site over the years, and their names need not be mentioned on this holiday as they don’t deserve the honor. We know who they are. And their views and politics must be crushed, just as the Maccabees crushed Jewish Hellenism.
I’ve often asked on this site during Chanukah, where are all the Maccabees? There are too few. There are scant few among my fellow co-religionists willing to fight for the West’s survival, and far too many who run faster than Usain Bolt to kiss the feet of Muslim extremists in our communities in America.
Again, it must be remembered that the most bloody fights against and slaughters the Maccabees had to carry out were not those of their Greek-Assyrian enemies, but those of their fellow Jews, whose behavior could have meant the end of Judaism. While I don’t advocate that today–or violence of any kind, the Maccabees showed no mercy toward these ignoramuses who embraced the enemy, toward these eager sell-outs. And anyone and everyone who celebrates Chanukah must celebrate that as well or they simply aren’t observing the holiday and what it’s all about.
The Maccabees were warriors. They were strong, and they had no fear. They’d easily take out any of those who, today, mock Jews as weak. We weren’t weak then. Only the Hellenists were, and their modern-day imitators are the weak ones in our community.
Chanukah was about how peace and survival of the Jewish people was achieved through battle–through a war fought by a group of brave, valiant Jewish men who fought not only against the enemy without, but the enemy within.
Check out “My Big Fat Cool Menorah Collection“!
On another note, I’m often asked the proper pronunciation of the holiday’s name and why the many spellings. As I mentioned above, it’s transliterated from Hebrew. And the word begins with a “Ch” sound, which is similar to the noise you get from clearing your throat. It’s not an “h” sound, but most Gentiles–and now, many Jews–are unable to pronounce the “ch” sound. As for the two “n”s or two “k”s, those are irrelevant, as it’s all about transliteration and phonetics. There is no right way to spell “Chanukah” in English.
On Chanukah, it’s also custom to play a game with a spinning top, called a dreidel. The dreidel has four different Hebrew letters on each side, which are the initials for a Hebrew phrase, Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, which means, “A Great Miracle Happened There [Here, if you're in Israel].” And as I noted above, we eat the latke potato pancakes. In Israel, they eat sufganiyot–jelly-filled donuts.
Again, to all of my Jewish readers and friends, I wish you a spiritual and meaningful Chanukah. I hope the holiday has the same meaning for you that it does for me–of victory over those who would destroy us.
Tags: Antiochus, Antiochus Epiphanes, Antiochus Epiphanies, Channukah, Chanukah, Chanukah 2012, Chanukkah, Hannukah, Hanukkah, Hellenists, Jewish Holidays, Jews, Judah the Maccabee, Maccabees, Matityahu, Matthew, menorah, Modern Day Hellenists, Seleucid, Seleucid empire, Seleucids, Yehuda, Yehudah