It's the first night of Hannukah. The kid is all excited. We're having a party, which we do every year, so all our friends who aren't Jews can also eat greasy foods and watch us light the candles. The kid is more excited about the party -- she loves parties -- than the present, since, as you know, Hannukah presents are not such a big deal. (Though she is not getting the traditional pair of socks or pencil set.)
What a strange holiday Hannukah is, when you think about it, or try to explain it -- We rented The Hebrew Hammer from Netflix last week. (The kid was entranced to find, afterwards, when I was reading her the bit from the Jewish Book O' Holidays Explained, that there actually had been a Hebrew Hammer, and that Hannukah sort of had something to do with him.) The Hammer and his sidekick, near the end, kind of/sort of try to explain what Hannukah is all about.
The thing is, it's sort of about the whole oil miracle. And it's sort of about the violent victory of Judah Maccabee over the Syrians. And it's sort of about the survivals of the Jews through all these centuries despite overwhelming odds. And it's sort of about light shining in the darkness even though it ought not, even though the odds really are against it: life existing, happiness existing, life existing, where life has no right to keep on existing.
With fried potato pancakes and jelly donuts and candles and presents.
See? Perfectly simple.
7 hours ago