Friday, December 3, 2010



Okay, that was just offensive. I shouldn't be so offensive, I work in the film industry and it's run by Jewish folk. Not to mention that they make up many of my friends and my girlfriend has a little Jewish in her (Hey now!) But hey, Chuanuaka is here and it celebrates the struggle of an oppressed people against imperialism, so perhaps it would appeal to those who don't really favor capitalism.... Now how's that for deep thinking material?

On Wednesday you were suppose to light the first candle of Channukah. And while it sounds like a bunch of hellenistic paganism, it's really not. It really is about an oppressed underdog fighting back against the man. Don't believe me? Let's look at the history of the festive celebration of lights!
Hanukkah (Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה‎, nowadays usually spelled חנוכה, also romanized as Chanukah), also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE.

In the narrative of I Maccabees, after Antiochus issued his decrees forbidding Jewish religious practice, a rural Jewish priest from Modiin, Mattathias the Hasmonean, sparked the revolt against the Seleucid Empire by refusing to worship the Greek gods. Mattathias killed a Hellenistic Jew who stepped forward to offer a sacrifice to an idol in Mattathias' place. He and his five sons fled to the wilderness of Judah. After Mattathias' death about one year later in 166 BCE, his son Judah Maccabee led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucid dynasty in guerrilla warfare, which at first was directed against Hellenizing Jews, of whom there were many. The Maccabees destroyed pagan altars in the villages, circumcised children and forced Jews into outlawry.

After the victory, the Maccabees entered Jerusalem in triumph and ritually cleansed the Temple, reestablishing traditional Jewish worship there and installing Jonathan Maccabee as high priest.

According to Rabbinic tradition, the victorious Maccabees could only find a small jug of oil that had remained uncontaminated by virtue of a seal, and although it only contained enough oil to sustain the Menorah for one day, it miraculously lasted for eight days, by which time further oil could be procured.
Why yes, I too celebrate an excellent bargain when it comes to the oil markets. Maybe I have a bit of connection to this holiday because growing up I was always asked if I was Jewish. It must have been my broken nose or something but here we are.

So you see, don't you believe in miracles?! I know I do! 8 days worth of oil for the price of one? Talk about a bargain! Time to celebrate. At least it's not based on a pagan holiday!

So even though according to American Television shows, Hanuka is not about American jews getting a present every day for eight days straight. This idea has been perpetuated for far too long in a vain attempt to make Jewish people not feel so bad about killing the true son of god. We all know the silly goyim's aren't buying the whole 8 days of worthwhile presents.

I know plenty of Jewish people who never got gifts for Hanuka. And if they did, they were just stupid shit you wouldn't be proud to get like socks, school supplies and other such novelties that you ignore in your typical christian stockings.

Besides, everyone knows American Jews get 8 small shitty, but practical, gifts for Hanukkah and then they get something for Christmas so that they would have something to brag about in keeping up with the Jones.

Let's not forget that Hanukkah is fun. You get to eat potato pancakes. I fucking love potato pancakes. And the brisket. You know, growing up in a Mexican (and former Jewish) neighborhood, I got so sick of tamales during the holiday season.

What I would give for a nicely cooked ham.. or a brisket. Fuck! That sounds so good. The notion of latka's also sounds so pleasing to the pallet right now. Let alone cravings for some Matzah ball soup. Even if it taste like campbells with some large softball in it. It's still very delicious.

Oh man. I love Jewish foods. I would convert on that alone. I think the trick is that good Jewish foods are all based on pickling and preserving stuff in some way or another. Mustards, pickles, Lox, Corned Beef... All good stuff.

I guess the only thing I don't want from that holiday is all the parental wielding of guilt against their mid-20s kids. Other than that, being Jewish seems to have a pretty good advantage to the whole thing. Once you tell other Jews what family you're from they all want to invite you for take out Chinese. And if there actually is a god, you're at least his chosen people!

Though I can't get behind the denial that comes from being Jewish. I know this guy who insists that I admit that I'm a Jew because I know all sorts of things about the religion... and again, my facial features. And when I tell him "No, I'm not Jewish", he always acts like it's some secret that is safe with him. "Oh, you can tell me if you're Jewish, I wont think any less of you."

Like, really? Do people somehow think less of someone because they're Jewish? How does this work and why does that even seem normal? It's not like we're in Germany during Hitler rule, I doubt there's many Jewish that are still paranoid about admitting their lineage. Why is being Jewish something that folks think you need to confess about?

Also what I don't get is the importance of the maternal lineage. I mean, really? Aren't the same folks who are keeping strict guidelines on who is Jewish based on the vagina you came out of being Jewish the same ones who are enjoying a shrimp cocktail or a cheese burger? I can't see how maternal lineage can still be important for Jew-dom. If one of your parents is Jewish, guess what.. you're half Jewish too.

So on this day I say, Happy Third candle, my fellow brothers in the diaspora. In the spirit of the festivities, Israel is currently burning
In an emergency cabinet meeting assembled in Tel Aviv on Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the nations sending forces to aid Israel in a large-scale brushfire, which had already cost the lives of 41 people

In his short address, delivered minutes before he was due to travel to the sight of the Carmel fire, Netanyahu thanked Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for sending fire-fighting aircraft to aid Israel in it's battle against the conflagration.

Turkey's sending of two fire-fighting planes comes as its relations with Israel have deteriorated in recent years and reached a low point last May when nine Turkish citizens were killed as Israeli naval commandos boarded a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

Perhaps there will be a new miracle of lights and the fire will burn for 8 years. You know, 8 is the number of infinity. So go ahead and enjoy Chuanuaka but just remember that Festivus is just around the corner.

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