December 21, 2008, - 5:46 pm

Happy Chanukah: What It Means in the Age of Mumbai Bombings, HAMAS, Hezbos; Still No Modern Maccabees

By Debbie Schlussel
As I write this, it’s nightfall in Michigan, and the Jewish holiday of Chanukah began–as all Jewish holidays do–at sundown, about an hour ago.
Chanukah is the story of miracles on so many levels, miracles Jews remember during this eight-day holiday, every year. It’s especially compelling, this year, as we remember the murder of several Jews at the Lubavitch Chabad House Jewish Center in Mumbai, India, at the hands of Islamic terrorists less than a month ago.


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 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 mirculously 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, 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 liberalism. They’re the ones who voted for Barack Obama, 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. We know who they are. And their views must be crushed, just as the Maccabees crushed Jewish Hellenism.
I asked, last year, where are all the Maccabees? I still haven’t found them. There are scant few among my fellow co-religionists willing to fight for the West’s survival, and far too many who run like Roger Bannister to kiss the feet of Muslim extremists in our commmunities in America.
I’m not suggesting violence, as the Maccabees needed to engage in. But 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. The Maccabees showed no mercy toward these ignoramuses who embraced the enemy, toward these eager sell-outs.
Sadly, we have plenty of those types of Jews dominating my religion, today, and since there are no Maccabees, we see the results in the shrinking number of Jews worldwide. Jews who leave the religion and/or who bend over backward (and forward) to supporters of Islamic terrorism tend to be–with a few exceptions–very liberal Jews and/or their kids. Make no mistake, Bernard Madoff and many of his investors were of this ilk. That’s why their greed ruled the day, and they lost their way (except the way to the ballot box to cast their votes for the Democrats). They would have been among the carnage necessary for the Maccabees’ miraculous victory.
I also recognize that, among the Hellenists, are not just lapsed Jews, who’ve embraced far-left liberalism, but other actors, like the Justice Department, which just set a new policy of seeking no bail for Jewish defendants. We’ve become second class, because that’s the status we’ve set for ourselves by constantly rushing to defend those who’d eliminate us. If you don’t have pride in yourself, others will diss you, too. The Maccabees learned that, when they showed they had pride and bravery. They defied our modern and relatively recent stereotype, which was not typical for that time, of the Jew as weak and cowardly.
And unlike today, in the days of the Maccabees, no-one said it was verboten and impolite to say that the Jews’ enemies were all Greek-Assyrians. No-one called them bigots or Antiochus-phobes for saying so.
And so I recognize and remember all of this as I light, tonight, the first of eight candles on my Channukah menorah, marking each night of this joyous holiday. Tomorrow night, I’ll light two candles, marking the second night, and so on. The ninth candle, the shamash, is used to light the other eight. It is required to be elevated in height from the other eight candles, which are supposed to be uniform in height on a kosher menorah. (I spied menorahs on sale at Bed, Bath & Beyond that simply aren’t kosher because they don’t meet those requirements.)
A few notes on Channukah: Contrary to what Hallmark and American Greetings and Best Buy would have you believe, it is not–as I’ve noted here many times–a major Jewish holiday. That’s why, unlike on important Jewish holidays, we Jews can work, as I’m doing on this website. I only do not work while my Channukah candles–which are required to burn for a half hour–are lit up. Channukah has only become important, here in America, because of weak, ignorant Jewish parents who cannot explain to their kids that we don’t have a Christmas or a holiday at the same time of the year that is as important to us as Christmas is to Christians. This is largely a phenomenon of Jewish immigration to America.
Speaking of Hallmark, I’m often asked why the name is spelled a gazillion different ways. That’s because of English transliteration from Hebrew. It 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 “Channukah” in English.
We play a game with a spinning top, called a dreidel. The dreidel has a different of four Hebrew letters on each side, which are the initials for a Hebrew phrase, Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, which means, “A Big Miracle Happened There [Here, if you’re in Israel].” (Ironically, Bed, Bath & Beyond sells a gold-colored dreidel, bearing a carving of the mosque on top of the Jewish Temple Mount. HUH?!)

Chanukah Dreidel

The eight gifts thing–or even one Chanukah gift–is really not part of Chanukah, either. It’s also part of the incorrect “Just like Christmas” phenomenon. In Europe, traditionally people gave gold coins–called “Channukah gelt”–and ate fried potato pancakes, called latkes. In Israel, they eat sufganiyot, jelly donuts. Jews in America tend to eat both of these on Channukah.
The bottom line is that, no matter how Channukah is celebrated by various Jews around the world, it is about Jews–with all odds against them–vanquishing their enemies, both their enemies without and within. And I note again, today that enemy is Islam and Muslims and the stupid Jewish liberals who love them. We have not chosen to fight them. They are self-appointed.
Too many self-appointed Hellenists, too. Not enough Maccabees.
On the bright side, as with all enemies of the Jewish people, with all odd against us, we defeated the Greeks and Antiochus. I’m hopeful we’ll defeat Islam eventually, too.
Like I said, Chanukah is about the few beating the many. And miracles.
And finally, I’ll repeat a message I posted last year from my friend Ruth S. King of Americans for a Safe Israel and a great patriot. I second her emotion:

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.

To my Jewish friends and readers, I wish you a Happy Chanukah, and to my other friends and readers, I hope this explained this fun and auspicious holiday to you. Thanks to all of you for being vigilant and helping to fight the modern-day Hellenists. And thanks to all of you who sent me Chanukah greetings and good wishes. Right back at ya!
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).

More on Chanukah from Judaism 101, Matityahu’s Revolt, and the Constantia Hebrew Congregation of Capetown, South Africa.
Happy Chanukah!


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.)

Off to light my candles. . . .

17 Responses

Happy Chanukah Debbie!
The Maccabean spirit live in you and oozes everywhere you touch. I love it, and I love you!!!
A great miracle did happen there!

BB on December 21, 2008 at 7:15 pm

Happy Chanikah Debbie

jozef on December 21, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Its the only Jewish holiday not mentioned in the Torah that is of post-exilic origin. Hanukkah reminds Jews their lot in life is always hanging by a thread and Judaism must be defended from all those who would seek to destroy it. The greatest strength of the Jewish people comes not from mere numbers – since their enemies will always be more numerous and more powerful than them – but from their faith in G-d and their conviction that good in the end will always triumph over evil. I not only lit the Hanukkah candles tonight, I also lit memorial candles to commemorate the martyrdom of Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzman, blessed be their memory. They gave their lives for “Kiddush Hashem,” the greatest deed a Jew could hope to attain in this life. We remember that sorrow is mixed with joy and this is a constant theme of Jewish history. One looks forward to the day when G-d will be sovereign throughout the earth and He alone will be followed by all mankind. Happy Hanukkah!

NormanF on December 21, 2008 at 7:59 pm

Happy Hanukkah, Debbie. In my parts the Maccabean spirit is pretty much on life support and most people think Hanukkah is the Jewish X-Mas. The good news is I have plenty of Streit’s Hanukkah gelt and I placed my menorah in the window where the miserable intermarrieds across the street can see it. I think if you were around I’d have gotten a latke mix and fried up a few, but since it’s just me I didn’t bother.

Anonymous1 on December 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm

Happy Chanukah, Debbie!
Keep up your great work. You have friends out here who stand with you and with Israel.

INFIDELATLARGE on December 21, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Have a nice Chanukah Debbie! Thanks for your information about your holiday.

californiascreaming on December 21, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Happy Chanukah Debbie. Thank you for everything. We love you.

Daniel on December 22, 2008 at 12:28 am

Happy Chanukkah Ms. Schlussel.
As you allude to quite often, until we can wake up from our Soma induced politically correct somnambulance, we as human beings, not just Jews or Americans, or even American Jews are doomed. At least the Maccabee weren’t wimps. They didn’t sit around and take it. The liberal Jewish establishment has, extremely unfortunately, become the representatives of the Jewish people. We therefore continually get sucker punched and beaten down and do things against common sense and against our own best interests.
Until such time that we wake up and are willing to call a terrorist “a terrorist”, a killer “a killer”, (and a liberal “an ignorant, misinformed, naive, no-good you-know-what”) and whatever else they need to be called, we will always be on the losing end: giving up land, getting bombed, electing politicians who will sell us even further down the river….
As for the intermarriage thing, all of my parents friends have at least one child (and in some cases ALL children) intermarried. It’s sad, very sad. In America, the strength is also the weakness. The very opportunity that allows us to come here and be free from tyranny, also allows us to come here and cast off all responsibilities and obligations.

verbatim on December 22, 2008 at 2:41 am

Happy Chanukah Debbie …
May 2009 bring us many new and exciting miracles that’ll enrich our lives, as Americans, our great nation, and further steps toward the elimination of terror from this planet.
I do believe in miracles.
Jimmy Lewis
SCS, Michigan

Jimmy on December 22, 2008 at 9:09 am

One of the most important laws of Chanukah is “pirsumei nisa”, to publicize the miracle. Today, I believe this is really important. While many Jews participated in the “63 Million-Plus Moron March” (quoting Debbie from for Obama and are among the leading apologists for Islamofacism and are leading advocates of Dhimmism, so are many non Jews.
Both Jews and non Jews need to take an example from this holiday so that we can stick up for what is right against the dark forces of Islamofacism.

i_am_me on December 22, 2008 at 9:14 am

Happy Chanukah Debbie,
Thanks for the history lesson. Though I’m not religious, my older sister (a doctor) converted to your faith and is also married to a Jewish doctor. Steve’s parents both lost their families in the Holocaust, but made it to America after the war. Steve’s dad was a doctor as is Steve’s brother. Wonderful people. Steve and my sister have 3 kids, Rebecca, Rachel, and Mathew.
My sister unfortunatley I don’t think recognizes the threat, I hope she is not one of the problems too. I pray the Jews in America (and Israel) wake up soon, as I hope too that every American comes to their senses. Otherwise I fear for the future.
Best wishes to you during this holiday season.

robscottw on December 22, 2008 at 10:27 am

From a Hindu fan of yours, wish you and our Jewish friends a very Happy Chanukah!
Posting from India, it was sad that this year had to be the first that Jewish blood was deliberately targeted and spilt on September 26th, but may that encourage us to confront not only our Mohammedan enemies, but the PCMC masses (both in the West, Israel and India) who (wittingly or unwittingly) enable them.

Infidel Pride on December 22, 2008 at 11:51 am

Happy Chanukah Debbie!
Let’s hope and pray the Jews and Christians of this country realize our common threat and unite to resist it.

mplumb on December 22, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Happy Chanukah to you, Debbie & to your readers – Thanks for this column which I will be sharing with family & friends.
We will light the candles and we will not give up on miracles.

crazycatkids on December 22, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Happy Chanukah, Debbie! Thanks for sharing it, I learned something today.

Bobby's Brain on December 22, 2008 at 3:57 pm

For Norman F: Purim!! Don’t forget Purim. Chag someach to all.
Joe B.

Joe B. on December 22, 2008 at 6:31 pm

“I asked, last year, where are all the Maccabees? I still haven’t found them. ”
Certainly don’t look towards Israel with its disgusting, crooked, cretin of a Prime Minister named Ehud Olmerde. Regarding Olmered I can only quote what Winston Churchill once said of a former British Prime Minster named Stanley Baldwin “I personally wish Mr. Baldwin no harm, but Britain would have been better off if he had never been born”.

Ripper on December 22, 2008 at 7:58 pm

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