We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Hannukah begins tonight.Our guest poster Bruce Kesler offers us a daily series for the eight nights of lights for Jews, Christians, and anybody else who might be interested:
In prior years I’ve written serious posts about the meaning of Chanukah, for Jews, for Christians, for Americans.I thought of doing something like that for this year, or excerpts from prior columns, but instead looked for a new way to express the meaning of this holiday.
Each night we add a candle to the Hanukiah menorah.How about some fun for each of the eight nights, and a brief note, that together convey some lessons of Chanukah.The Chanukah lights represent the miracle of the one-day’s quantity of sanctified oil remaining in the Temple in Jerusalem -- reconquered by the Maccabees from the defiling Syrian-Greeks -- lasting for eight days, until a new quantity could be prepared.The lights are, also, symbolic of scripture’s description of Jews as bringing light unto the world.One of the best ways to light up the world is in humor we can all enjoy sharing.
In light of today’s difficult economic times, a Christmas-Chanukah merger:
Continuing the current trend of large-scale mergers and acquisitions, it was announced today at a press conference that Christmas and Chanukah will merge. According to reliable industry sources, the deal has been in the works for about 1300 years, ever since the rise of the Muslim Empire.
While not all details were available at press time, it is believed that the overhead cost of having twelve days of Christmas and eight days of Chanukah was becoming prohibitive for both sides. By combining forces, reporters were told, the world will be able to enjoy consistently high quality service during the Fifteen Days of Christmukah, as the new holiday is being called.
Massive layoffs are expected, with lords a-leaping and maids a-milking being hardest hit. Under conditions of the agreement, the letters on the dreydl, currently in Hebrew, will be replaced by Latin, thus becoming unintelligible to a much wider audience. Also, instead of translating to "A great miracle happened there," the message on the dreydl will be the more generic: "Miraculous stuff happens."
Jews and Christians share a belief in miracles, that creates an openness toward discovering what is not known, which creates progress.Another point of light:
Albert Einstein once said: "There are two ways of looking at the world: Either you see nothing as a miracle or you see everything as a miracle."
Chanukah reminds us that Judaism sees everything as a miracle. But Hellenism saw nothing as a miracle. To the Greeks, a miracle was an absurdity. To them, only what was reasonable, logical, and rational could be real. Miracles were illogical and, therefore, not possible.
The Greeks could never see the light of Chanukah, the light of miracles, because they only believed in the light of logic and reason. According to the Greeks, the world always existed, it never was created. History is an inevitable process — the present and the future are linked to the past and are the necessary outcome of the past. Nothing unusual will happen or can happen. History will march on, a consequence following consequence. Similarly, their view of G-d or gods was of super-beings detached from the world. Their gods didn't care about man. Therefore, miracles were impossible….
Judaism believes that G-d created the world, cares about us, and invites us to be His partner in making history and perfecting His creation. The Greeks assumed that the world is perfect already. Everything is as it should be. The world is eternal, the events of history are inevitable and G-d is impersonal. Therefore, don't expect any favors, don't expect any novelties, don't expect any divine interventions, don't expect miracles, and have no hope. Life is just one big Greek tragedy.
Therefore, the Greeks wanted to do away with the Jews and their commitment to Torah (religious) life….
Growing up in LA, I was surrounded by Jewish families. I think I was the only Christian kid on my block. So I got a pretty good introduction to this faith through many childhood friends. Terrible as Habu says that their enemies have multiplied so rapidly over the past 30 years.