Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Festival of Lights

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.


DexX said...

Happy Hannukah!

Actually, what is the accepted Hannukah greeting? Is there one?

Pardon my ignorance, but with a rabidly anti-Semitic Catholic father, I never had any Jewish friends growing up, and I have never known any of my adult Jewish acquaintances well enough to be comfortable quizzing them on it.

Anonymous said...

Happy Hannukah is good.

Also: Eat more latkes -- what's the matter with you? Don't you know it's Hannukah? Eat some latkes! And have a jelly donut while you're at it!

Pass me a beer, too!

We're having a fine party here.


zelda1 said...

I used to think, those poor Jewish children who never get to have a Christmas tree or open gifts and yada yada yada. Until recently when I became very good friends with a Jewish couple. A couple that I have grown to adore and feel like they are a part of my family. Their child is as close to a granddaughter that I will ever get. My point is that I love them dearly and for all the Jewish and non Jewish folks out there, Happy Hanukah! BTW, I had my first Jewish fired potato pancakes and they are very similar to the fried potato pies that my cheroke nanny made for me and we ever put apple slices and sour cream on them too.) My husband thinks the cheroke have Jewish roots, he is so funny. Anyway, again Happy Hannukah and for those who don't celebrate Hannukah, Merry Christmas. And for those who celebrate neither sorry!