Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lomo on Chanukah - '08

Sorry, my internet wasn't working for a few days, though there were a few things I wanted up here..another time perhaps. ...what was it I was supposed to write about? ..Oh yes, Hannukah.

One thing about Hanukkah which I think is clearly agreed upon across the spectrum of ways of understanding it, is that Hanukkah is ‘commemorating’ two things, and the amount of import one places on either reason classifies their understanding of it (in a way), though even within these two reasons for commemoration there is much disagreement as what exactly about these events is worth commemorating.

These two commemorations are obviously for either the great victories the Judeans wrought on the Seleucid Greek armies, and the subsequent liberation of Judea and of Judaic ethical monotheism from their hands, as well as the ritual and political purification of the Temple from foreign control, or the miracle of the oil for the Temple’s perpetual lamp (lighting more than physically possible) which ensued (huge run-on, I know). The Baraith’a, which primarily quotes the "oil miracle" is somewhat representative of the more Religious spectrum , while the Book of Maccabees, the "The Scroll of Antiochus" as well as the more well known prayer (“A’l Hanisim”) which all commemorate the military victory are usually the aspect more commemorated by the more ‘Nationalistic’ elements among us.

To me it is unquestionable that both extremes are somewhat erroneous; the significance of the ‘miracle of the oil’ aspect, and what it should mean to us should not be under-emphasized, yet the military/political victory should certainly not be understated.

If so, a very brief restatement:

‘Oil miracle’- I do not feel that stating something like “the menorah was nothing more than the Jewish nationalistic symbol” is unfounded, but for what reason was it our symbol if not for the elements of light and ritual purity inherent in it? I do not feel that anybody is of the opinion that the Priests felt it so overbearingly important to reconstruct and rekindle the Menorah with specifically ritually pure oil (which was not a halakhic necessity) only to replace some symbol of National unity. There is no question that to them the speedy relighting of the Menorah was representative of the ethical and cultural victory they had won against the Greeks. That could and should be a lesson to us today- for even those among us with the longest and blackest of coats, and the furriest of hats has the most despicable of Western/American ideals in their hearts (myself, obviously, very much among them). The lesson of the purpose of the Divine radiance shown to our ancestors at the Temple should serve to bring well needed ‘mind over matter’ ideals to our spiritually-starved souls.

The ‘War miracle’ as well, though, cannot be overlooked; yet for what did those agrarian Judean ancestors of ours fight, if not to cleanse our land –G-d’s land— from the most objectionable of Greek ideologies and practices being shipped into Judea. This victory created a situation the Judeans had not known in their recent past, and have not known since—full autonomy in their own land.

This is going on too long, is it not? ..not my style…it is not without need of editing though..


Rachel said...

ya, it did go on too long.

the spaghetti you left over on the other post tasted better than the alfalfa sprouts in kentucky. don't you think?

Could you ask your mum for the recipe? I'd be eternally grateful

Rachel said...

I forgot to subscribe.

That's why I'm commenting again.

the sabra said...

YES!! Please post the recipe!! It would make the PERFECT addition to our Bloggers Against Blogging Chanukah Evening, no?

the sabra said...

I didn't forget to subscribe.

That's why I'm commenting again--to let the oilam know.


הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Rachel: What in G-d's damned and condemned purgatory are you guys talking about? You guys have gotten along too well; I feel just clueless now as you once made the babysitter feel.. because, I don't remember leaving any spaghetti in the other post. ...and who would think Alfalfa is better than spaghetti anyway? I'm telling you Rachel; all this silliness is getting to you!

"ya, it did go on too long"- Yeah, I just reread it and it's very poorly written and difficult to understand- I was writing it in a noisy computer lab though, so..

"Could you ask your mum for the recipe? I'd be eternally grateful"- Just stick to your Bosmati rice! Anyway, good spaghetti is very tricky..

Sabra: "Bloggers Against Blogging Chanukah Evening"- Ha!

Rachel said...

Silliness? No, Peewee has a monopoly on that.

You mean you forgot what sphagetti? I'll give you a hint:

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

"Peewee has a monopoly on that"- Oh, you also used to watch that guy? He was sooo freaky..

"You mean you forgot what sphagetti? I'll give you a hint:"- Don't play with me woman- I can get dangerous with a Chanukah candle in hand!

Rachel said...

I'm scared. Of Peewee and of you.

No, I wouldn't watch Peewee.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

Good. It show was PETTY f--ked up if I don't say so myself. ..I mean, the guy never even heard that some people have se*ahem* with other adults! He's worse than Michel Jackson..I don't know how they didn't see it from the start!

As for me: Yay! I made a girl scared! ..wait- is that a good thing?

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

PETTY- supposed to be "pretty" obviously.

..oh man; it turns out pee wee is a Jew!

Rachel said...

Well that was weird.

the sabra said...

We tried.
Let's take the party elsewhere.
But David's by your place. Mine is not the place.

Where shall we go?