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16 December 2006

Happy Hanukkah!



Okay okay, Happy Hanukkah! Chag Sama-ach!

Here's the deal. After Alexander the Great (a violent, drunken Bulgarian youth) conquered a huge chunk of Eurasia and Africa, his empire was split among three generals, and one of them, the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes, got Syria and Israel/Judea.

In 167 BCE, Antiochus erected a statue of Zeus in Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. (See Commandment I.) The priests led a revolt under Judah, nicknamed Maccabee ("the hammer") -- and won! In 165, they kicked the Greek army with all its elephants out of Israel/Judea!

Solomon's Temple was a real mess, but the immediate crisis was that the Eternal Flame was about to go out, there was barely a few drops of oil left. The priests ran to get more oil, but it took eight days to bring it back to Jerusalem.

But the Flame never went out! It kept burning on vapors and prayer! That's the miracle of Hanukkah.

For eight days, a woman in each household (wearing some kind of hat/scarf on her head) says the Hebrew prayers and lights the Hanukkah candles, and if we get another miracle and this little filched image wiggles for you, this is the Precise Order of how to light the candles every night. The candle in the middle of the menorah is called the Shammus, and you light it first, and then use it to light all the other candles.

PizzaQ (1 slice): If it wiggles and you can figure it out, How Many Candles Will Be Lit for the Entire Hanukkah Festival?

My guess is the Tel Aviv Fire Department really hates Hanukkah.

The other big Hanukkah thing is the spinning top called the Dredel. It has four sides, each with a Hebrew letter. Kids gamble with chocolate coins called Hannukah Gelt (if they're from the Yiddish-speaking culture, I don't know if Sephardim/Ladino-speakers gamble for chocolate).

I hope I got most of this right. As I've said before, I am the Huckleberry Finn of World Jewry.

4 comments:

patausch said...

Alexander der Grosse kam nicht aus Bulgarien, er kam aus dem heutigen Montenegro. Bulgarien ist nicht korrekt. Tut mir leid dass ich ein Klugscheisser bin, dafür weiss ich die Pizzafrage mit den Kerzen nicht.

Anonymous said...

bMajlis Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi on Sachar Committee Report in Parliament

ASADUDDIN OWAISI MP (HYDERABAD) : Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I rise to support the Bill that has been tabled in the august House. I have got some important points to bring to the notice of the august House.
The Sachar Committee report has been tabled in this House. It clearly states the educational backwardness of the Muslim community. According to Sachar Report, there are 39 per cent OBCs and 0.8 per cent Scheduled Caste in the Muslim community.
I support this Bill which provides reservation in Central Universities to SCs, STs and OBCs. However, I would like to know as to how fair it is to deny the benefits of reservation on the basis of religion, especially after the Government has tabled the Sachar Report in this august House which shows how bad my educational standards are and my conditions are.
I would just like to quote one point here as far as the report is concerned. Page 73 of Sachar Report clearly says, “The percentage of population of graduates, as far as the Muslims are concerned, is 1.2 and those attending P.G. courses is 16.3.” It is lesser in Muslims than in dalits also. You are not implementing these minority universities over there. But why is it that I am being denied such benefits? Moreover, the Presidential Order of 1950 contravenes the basic fundamental rights given in the Constitution.
How is it that only SCs belonging or professing the religion of Hinduism or Sikhism or neo Buddhism are being given reservation? Why not Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims? This question has to be pondered over by the Government. I would request you sincerely, Sir, that the Government should come forward and ensure that the 1950 Presidential Order, Schedule III is amended. It says that only a person professing Hinduism or Sikhism or neo Buddhism can be classified as Schedule Caste. How is that possible? This Report of yours clearly says this. There is this argument about Muslims and OBCs. Why is it such a low percentage is there? This has to be looked into.
Lastly, about Jamia Milia University, how is that the present Vice-Chancellor wants to implement this present Bill in Jamia Milia University? Why has the Vice-Chancellor overnight changed this position? Why are we being denied such benefits? I would request you that this issue has to be taken care of. They have applied to the National Minority Education Commission also. It is pending over there. If Jamia Milia University is not a minority University, then, which is a minority university? This is a very important question. These are important points I wanted to bring to the notice of the august House.
I support this Bill. I hope that this UPA Government will take affirmative action and will not deny us reservation under Article 16(4). If people are opposed to reservations to Muslims, they should look into the pre-native history of Article 16(4). It is none other than Sardar Vallabhai Patel, who has stated `classes’ means `Minorities’. He was the Chairman of that Advisory Committee. Why are Muslims having reservations in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka? Why can they not be given reservations nationwide? It has to be done. Literacy rate of 13 per cent of population is only 59. There is a huge difference between literate and educated persons. You can very well imagine 13 per cent of population with a literacy of 59 per cent. Hence, I would request that the Government should come forward with the proposal and I hope that the hon. Minister, when he stands up to reply would respond to this or this UPA Government has to amend 1950 Presidential Order. They have to take affirmative action under Articles 15(4) and 16(4).
Thank you.

Bob Merkin said...

And Happy Hanukkah to you too!

Our Menorah is a gorgeous solid brass menorah from India! Thanks!

In the Holiday Spirit, Vleeptron is relaxing its policy forbidding Anonymous Driveby Comments Just This Once.

Good luck with the Legislation!

Hey Pat! You can schriebe mich auf deutsches any time! BUT ... you must spell everything as if you were Maxmillian Schell or Durrenmatt. Othersise my Translator Robot gets very confused.

I have found the exact location of Pella, the capital city of Philip and his kid Alexander der Grosse. I will shortly post you a map where Pella was and still is.

It AIN'T in Montenegro.

(But you were korrekt, it ain't Bulgaria either.)

patfromch said...

I ha Mazedonie u nid Montenegro gmeint. My Fäler. Isch ja o nid so schlimm.Derby hani ersch grad es Buech über Alexander gläse.....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pella

Das isch Dürrenmatt Bärndütsch, würd de schön blöd luege we dä Roboter das cha übersetze he he he)

Guets Liechterfescht so oder so.