The OFFICIALunOFFICIAL English Bulldog Mascot

Bronx! Maccabees! Chanukah!

In Children's Literacy, English bulldogs, History, K-12 Education, Popular Culture, Television, ThatOne WORD on December 1, 2010 at 5:06 PM

I’m not Jewish. Look at me, umma bulldog! BOL! But She grew up in what was at the time a Jewish ghetto in the Bronx, NY. Every year, Chanukah seems to open up a flood of memories of Her childhood experiences on Morris Ave and her elementary school, PS 70.  Actor, Director, Producer Jerry Weintraub is a PS 70 alum! So I got to thinkin’– some of my WORD Readers, anipals and furriends may appreciate knowin’ a little more about what Chanukah is all about. So I did a little diggin’.

Chanukah, the Festival of Lights is one of the least religiously significant holidays on the Jewish calendar. Although it generally falls around the Christmas holidays, the giving of gifts is not a tradition historically associated with Chanukah nor is Chanukah a Jewish “substitute” for Christmas. Chanukah, actually, is a holiday commemorating Jewish national and religious freedom.

Chanukah is a celebration of the victory of the Maccabees and the re-dedication of the Temple at Jerusalem. It also commemorates  or permanently memorializes the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days.

Here’s the story.  More than 2,000 years ago, the Jewish people of Judaea were being ruled by a brutal Greek king named Antiochus. The Maccabees (or Hasmoneans), rose up against King Antiochus, removed statues of  Zeus and other Greek gods and restored the practice of monotheism.

Mono means “One.”  Theocracy means “God rule.” Jewish people, just like many Christians, do not worship multiple gods because the Law of Moses commands they have no other gods before them. Monotheism means “one-god worship.” This is why the Judeans rebelled against the Greek practice of worshiping many gods.

On the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kisleve, 164 BCE, the Maccabees finished cleansing and ridding the Temple of idolatry.  After that, they wanted to rededicate it by relighting the Temple’s menorah. Tradition teaches that there was only enough pure oil to burn for one night, but a miracle occurred and the Menorah burned for eight nights!

Thanks to this eight-day miracle, Jewish people all over the world today celebrate an eight-day Festival of Lights called Chanukah.

And there you have it.  Chanukah.  That’s what it’s all about.

Goodwill Energies I project
Upon Each and every one of you
Each and every day!

“And there came to be evening and there came to be morning…That’s life, today!

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