Happy Hanukkah! *Open Thread*


As the events of the world continue to unfold, with violence continuing to erupt in places like Pakistan schools by Taliban terrorists, or lone wolf terrorists in Australia, or here, it is also a season of holidays. Today would be just such a day.

The setting sun today, December 16th, marks the beginning of Hanukkah, or Chanukah, if you prefer. This Festival of Lights last eight days, and has its basis in an event that occurred long, long ago. From About Judaism:

[…] In 168 B.C.E. the Jewish Temple was seized by Syrian-Greek soldiers and dedicated to the worship of the god Zeus. This upset the Jewish people, but many were afraid to fight back for fear of reprisals. Then in 167 B.C.E. the Syrian-Greek emperor Antiochus made the observance of Judaism an offense punishable by death. He also ordered all Jews to worship Greek gods.

Jewish resistance began in the village of Modiin, near Jerusalem. Greek soldiers forcibly gathered the Jewish villages and told them to bow down to an idol, then eat the flesh of a pig – both practices that are forbidden to Jews. A Greek officer ordered Mattathias, a High Priest, to acquiesce to their demands, but Mattathias refused. When another villager stepped forward and offered to cooperate on Mattathias’ behalf, the High Priest became outraged. He drew his sword and killed the villager, then turned on the Greek officer and killed him too. His five sons and the other villagers then attacked the remaining soldiers, killing all of them.

Mattathias and his family went into hiding in the mountains, where other Jews wishing to fight against the Greeks joined them. Eventually they succeeded in retaking their land from the Greeks. These rebels became known as the Maccabees, or Hasmoneans.

Once the Maccabees had regained control they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem. By this time it had been spiritually defiled by being used for the worship of foreign gods and also by practices such as sacrificing swine. Jewish troops were determined to purify the Temple by burning ritual oil in the Temple’s menorah for eight days. But to their dismay, they discovered that there was only one day’s worth of oil left in the Temple. They lit the menorah anyway and to their surprise the small amount of oil lasted the full eight days.

This is the miracle of the Hanukkah oil that is celebrated every year when Jews light a special menorah known as a hanukkiyah for eight days. One candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, two on the second, and so on, until eight candles are lit. You can learn more about the hanukkiyah in the article: What Is a Hanukkiyah? […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Fascinating history, I think. But if this is a bit dry for you, perhaps this Maccabeats piece, “Shine” will be more to your liking:

Fun, isn’t it? And these guys can really sing. Of course, now I want some hot chocolate, but that can be remedied!

At sundown, the lighting of the first light begins, and will continue until Christmas Eve. The above tune applies also to the Winter Solstice, which occurs on December 21st, the shortest day of the year. Light is always an important component of the Solstice, with the burning of the Yule Log, among other traditions. Personally, I like the crossover – the Light of Hanukkah and the Light of the Winter Solstice along with the Light of Christmas. In the wintertime, light is such a gift for a host of reasons. Just ask Alaskans! 😀 Ahem.

Anyway, back to the point of the post: for our Jewish friends and relations, may this Holiday of Lights, this eight days of lighting the menorah, be a good one for you all. May it bring good food to your tables, good gatherings of family and friends, and may it bring you, and the world, peace. Shalom!

PERSONAL NOTE: I will be heading down to Grand Cayman on the 18th until the 27th of December. I will have up a post while I am gone, especially for Christmas, and maybe another one. As always, if any of you has something about which you would like to write, or want to cross-post from your own blogs, please let me know. It would be my pleasure to put it up while I am gone. I will be checking in once a day or so, but for the most part, I am going to be taking a break from being online, especially since we will be joined by a dear friend who is coming all the way from Seattle to be with us. I want to enjoy every minute we have with her while I can. Add to that being able to celebrate Christmas with friends down there, to which I also look forward. Again, if you wish to have up a post, just let me know. Thanks!


35 Responses to “Happy Hanukkah! *Open Thread*”

  1. HELENK3 Says:

  2. HELENK3 Says:


    the perfect Christmas gift

  3. HELENK3 Says:


    epitaph for hope and change

  4. foxyladi14 Says:

    For our Jewish friends. 😀


  5. HELENK3 Says:

    President Obama’s new plan to ease the threat of deportation for 4.7 million undocumented immigrants violates the US constitution, federal judge says, in 1st legal ruling against the plan – @Reuters
    End of alert

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      That doesn’t surprise me one bit. It IS unconstitutional. If only the US Senate Democrats had enough guts to admit that, but they are all more concerned abt keeping their JOBS than abiding by the Constitution if it will get them votes.

      Thanks for the alert!

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    An Administration that stressed transparency. Except for…

  7. HELENK3 Says:


    OMG I hope this is not true
    2nd in command of the group claiming responsibility for killing kids just released from gitmo

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I hope that isn’t true, either. But if it is, Obama should be held accountable for his unilateral action.

  8. HELENK3 Says:


    little bit of hypocrisy going on here

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Boy, I’ll say. Just a little bit. Shocking, huh? Yeah. Right.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Quite honestly there is little that De Blasio does that I find shocking or surprising. Was there ever a doubt that he was a corrupt, lying, liberal, socialist, racist POS? Only to those who were willfully blind. But he has wonderful liberal creds – a black wife and biracial children. Who needs more?

        Michael Goodwin nails De Blasio’s sorry butt again:

        Thought those anti-cop protesters were peaceful? Think again


        • kenoshamarge Says:

          Jimmy Fallon nails De Blasio pretty good too:

          New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently installed a fence around Gracie Mansion for privacy and security concerns. De Blasio wants to make sure the wrong person doesn’t get into the mayor’s mansion — while New Yorkers said, “Too late.”

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          What a FANTASTIC article by Goodwin, Marge! Thank you so much for that. Nothing like facts to lay bare the deceptiveness and downright deplorable acts by some of our leaders.

          And Fallon was perfect!

  9. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    My partner went to UVA, and posted this on Facebook. What talented young people they have there! And a little musical respite from the news of the day:

  10. HELENK3 Says:

    off topic


    an epic OPPPS

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      AHAHAHAHAHA! That was something else! I understand that Empire News is a satire site, but it is still funny as all get out. I can So see something like that happening!

  11. kenoshamarge Says:

    Education as a Cause of Mental Health Issues


    I believe whole-heartedly that millions of little boys have been the victims of academic child abuse. I believe that millions of parents are equally guilty. It is so much easier to drug your rambunctious little boys than parent them. This is a far bigger stain on America than the “water-boarding” issue IMO. And a far more destructive and long lasting one.

  12. kenoshamarge Says:

    In the spirit of the season:

    Thousands Flock to Arlington National Cemetery to Lay Wreaths in Honor of Fallen


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Tank heavens for those folks for the time to honor the fallen who served our nation…

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        Aren’t they wonderful. I need something like this from time to time to remind myself why I am proud to be an American. These folks make us all proud.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          Absolutely – I tip my hat to them both for their efforts, and for the reminder of which you speak…

  13. kenoshamarge Says:

    My choice would be “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor”. Just because it is such a personal choice that should be left to the individual and we were all lied to about it. I would think that Obama would hold title to at least the top 10 Lies of the Year.

    Obama Calling Islamic State Terrorists the ‘JV Team’ Named Top Lie of the Year on Morning Joe

  14. HELENK3 Says:


    why is this not a surprise?

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I am thrilled that Alan Gross was finally released, but once again, releasing THREE SPIES for a hostage seems a bit one-sided to me. More on this in the upcoming post.

  15. HELENK3 Says:


    this might be part of the problem. this teaches in an US college. Why I do not know and definitely would not want any kid in my family going to a school that hires him.
    this sob has led a damn good life in this country, gotten away with crimes and is proud of doing so. the person in the office of the president allows him to go in and out of the our white house as he pleases.
    of all backtrack’s BFFs, I would like to see this one behind bars

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      You ain’t only kidding abt what a good life Ayers has had, from the very beginning when he grew up wealthy with all the privileges one can imagine, to NOT being in jail, and being paid big bucks to teach our young people, as well as spew this kind of vitriolic rhetoric.

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