Skip to comments.DOWN WITH HANUKAH
Posted on 12/01/2010 7:37:08 PM PST by ventanax5
. If I were a Reform rabbi; if I were a leader of the establishment whose money and prestige have succeeded in capturing for himself the leadership and voice of American Jewry; if I were one of the members of the Israeli Government's ruling group; if I were an enlightened sophisticated, modern Jewish intellectual, I would climb the barricades and join in battle against that most dangerous of all Jewish holidays - Chanukah.
It is a measure of the total ignorance of the world Jewish community that there is no holiday that is more universally celebrated than the "Festival of Lights," and it is an equal measure of the intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy of Jewish leadership that it plays along with the lie. For if ever there was a holiday that stands for everything that stands for everything that the masses of world Jewry and their leadership has rejected - it is this one. If one would find an event that is truly rooted in everything that Jews of our times and their leaders have rejected and, indeed, attacked - it is this one. If there is any holiday that is more "un-Jewish" in the sense of our modern beliefs and practices - I do not know of it.
The Chanukah that has erupted unto the world Jewish scene in all its childishness, asininity, shallowness, ignorance and fraud is not the Chanukah of reality. The Hanukah that came into vogue because Jewish parents - in their vapidness needed something to counteract Christmas; that exploded in a show of "we-have-lights-just-as-our-goyisha-neighbors"
(Excerpt) Read more at freeman.org ...
What have we here? What kind of religious intolerance and bigotry? What kind of a man is this for the anti-religious Ha'shomer Ha'tzair, the graceful temples of suburbia, the sophisticated intellectuals, the liberal, open-minded Jews and all the drones who have wearied us unto death with the concept of Judaism as a humanistic, open-minded, undogmatic, liberal, universalist (if not Marxist) religion, to honor?
Another home run by Rabbi Kahana' (zt"l; Hy"d)!
The Maccabees were not forerunners of the American Civil Liberties Union and did not fight for the "enlightenment" concept of the "right" to worship any and ever "gxd," idol, and abomination out there. They were actually much closer to (lehavdil) right wing Roman Catholics who reject Vatican II. Now ain't that irony???
The only true religious freedom is the freedom to obey the True G-d!
That Channukah this year occurs at the beginning of December rather than at the end (and Christmas time) is a blessing, because it allows Jews to reflect more on what is the true meaning of the holiday (note that it is not so much a holyday).
It is (a) a celebration of miracles and the success of independence and religious freedom over forced assimilation;
and (b) the celebration of the salvation of a religion as opposed to the beginning of a savior and his religion.
Another FReeper tonight put it very succinctly, Hanukkah is a holiday about fighting for your freedom.
I don’t know how you could read 1 and 2 Maccabees and not know this. But Christmas has often been twisted, too, I suppose.
Apparently you didn't read the article at the head of this thread.
The whole point is that Chanukkah isn't about political liberty at all. And it's not about "religious liberty" in the modern sense. It was a triumph of the immemorial Divine Tradition Israel had received at Sinai over liberal innovators and updaters.
Chanukkah doesn't commemorate winning Jewish independence at all. It commemorates the rededication and purification of the holy altar after it had been ceremonially defiled. That's a very pre-modern thing.
We cannot let the lights go out.
Maybe it is semantics, but to me, that is liberty and freedom. The sacred is your soul, to not have that is to not have the purest form of freedom.
The American rabbis (and left wing Israeli politicians) Rabbi Kahana' (zt"l; Hy"d) criticized in this wonderful article probably never read the Books of the Maccabees in their lives.
The American Jewish "mainstream" literally believes that Yehudah HaMaqqavi was a forerunner of the ACLU, fighting for "religious freedom" when a bunch of "religious fanatics" "discriminated" against them. They have no understanding or knowledge of ancient, Divinely-mandated, unalterable, supra-rational, cultic religion.
Go to any public Chanukkah celebration and see what you'll hear!
Would you please consider going back and re-reading the article?
Did you see where the Maccabeean revolt began when Mattityahu killed a fellow-Jew for simply "exercising his right to worship as he pleased" rather than the way he was supposed to???
Get these eighteenth century enlightenment notions out of your head! "Freedom of conscience" (as understood by enlightenment liberals) did not exist then and in actual fact does not exist now in the eyes of G-d.
It seems like I have a lot of studying to do. I have always read and heard that the villager that Mattathias killed was basically surrendering to Antiochus’ order. He wasn’t doing something out of freedom but out of fear.
..also, please don’t take my questioning/comments as disrespect, I really am interested in this. I mostly had read the original article snip posted here, not the full one, which I did now. I have really just been exposed to Reformed understanding and that, along with my very Objectivist belief system made me filter through that.
I do see that I have a lot to learn (which, of course, is the fun part).
Ironically, 1 and 2 Maccabees are not part of the canon of the Jewish Bible (Tanakh).
As we know, Christianity uses books that were preserved by Jews but, in the case of Chanukah, Jews have made use of knowledge in books that were preserved by Christians.
I saw Kahane in Boston not long before he was assassinated. The meeting was small, but I was struck by the intensity of his followers. Is there aything left of his movement?
One Day All will follow his will and bow to his worship!
>Ironically, 1 and 2 Maccabees are not part of the canon of the Jewish Bible (Tanakh).
>As we know, Christianity uses books that were preserved by Jews but, in the case of Chanukah, Jews have made use of knowledge in books that were preserved by Christians.
Which raises the question (which I am sure has been answered in Jewish intellectual circles) “Does the absence of Maccabees in the Jewish Bible reflect tha,t although historical, it does not rise to the level of ‘inspired by God’?” And if so, why then does it reach that level in the Christian Bible?
Rabbi Kahane was a great man, ahead of his time.
There is mention of the feast of the rededication of the temple in the New Testament at John 10.22 (where it is called enkainia or renewal--immediately followed by the information that "it was winter").
His son Benjamin and wife were ambushed and killed on a road in Israel a few years later. I would not be surprised if secular Israeli elements helped target him for his Arab murderers. Not sure if any children remained. Meir Kahane's political party in Israel has been BANNED for years by a nation that has been committing slow-motion suicide since 1977.
My personal belief is that the Maccabees were not included in the Jewish Bible because Judah Maccabee's descendants (the Hasmoneans) ruled Judea for several generations and they became corrupt. The Maccabee books were removed from the Bible because the Maccabee family fell out of favor.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
And those Christians who have the two books of the Maccabees in their Bibles, they are of both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
In Roman Catholic Bibles, for example, the New American, you have both 1 and 2 Maccabees in that Bible. With 5 other books, it makes for 72 books altogether. The Protestant Bibles only have 64 books.
First, it doesn't even claim to be divinely inspired. Indeed, it actually references that no prophets appeared to guide the people.
Second, it's 300 years later than Ezra & Nehemiah. The canon had already been closed.
Third, the Hasmonean dynasty quickly became Hellenized and corrupt. King Alexander Yannai, for instance, killed thousands of rabbis and chased most of the rest to Egypt.
Fourth, Maccabees II was written in Greek.
Fifth, Maccabees says a lot of nice things about the Romans.
But remember, if it was not for what took place by the Jews at that time in Jewish history to fight for independence to worship God as well as for the miracle, which took place a little over a century before the miracle that would be celibrated as Christmas, there would NOT be any SAVIOR or ANY CHRISTMAS.
From this Christian, a HAPPY CHANNUKAH to you!
Whether out of freedom or fear the results were the same. It is forbidden to worship false "gxds" (Halakhically Jews are required to die rather than do this), and Mattityahu killed him.
Unfortunately it has shattered. In Israel the original Kakh organization split into two groups while in the USA the original JDL became secularized and de-Kahanized to the point where they're now just a slightly more militant version of the Anti-Defamation League.
Kahana's associate Chaim Ben Pesach (whose site I can't link to from FR because it's so "extreme") is still around (he's forbidden to enter Israel) and has his own web site and organization as well as affiliates in Israel.
You can do a web search or I will send some links via PM if you're interested.
When Chanukkah was instituted the scriptural canon had already been closed by the 'Anshei-HaKenesset HaGedolah (the Men of the Great Assembly), so the books could not be added. As to whether they were written under Ruach HaQodesh (Divine inspiration), it is theoretically possible. After all, there were many Divinely-inspired prophecies over the years in Biblical times which were not preserved or canonized because they did not deal with matters beyond their own time. The prophetic books in the TaNa"KH were canonized because they apply to all future generations (up to the coming of Mashiach).
A Holiday of Resistance
Yes. Nor are they part of the King James Bible or the Bible according to Luther. But they are part of the Catholic Bible.
Although Jews don’t give them canonical status, they are among the books that have a good deal of historical authority for them. All that stuff really happened.
Thanks. I would be interested in the links - just to keep up with the range of things going on.
Interesting post & threads. Thanks so much.
>>”It is forbidden to worship false “gxds” (Halakhically Jews are required to die rather than do this), and Mattityahu killed him. “
Not to begin an argument, but as a rhetorical question, meant to provoke thought and introspection: Jewish people do not worship, today, as required by the Hebrew Bible. Even though one can say that it is no longer possible, such worship is still required. Is the casuistry making this possible intellectually and spiritually satisfying?
[This is not a condemnation: very few Christians bother to follow their own scriptures, either.]
Since it is the actual worship of foreign "gxds" that is forbidden, your identification of this negative commandment with the positive commandment to worship G-d in a certain way misses the point.
Whether or not the Temple is standing and the service being offered, it is still forbidden to worship strange "gxds," and certain actions are actually capital offenses.
Or, in a literal translation, "holy spirit." Of course, in the original Hebrew, you're right that "holy spirit" (Ruach H'Kodesh) means nothing more than divine inspiration. I've never quite figured out how Christians transformed it into an entity or person in the godhead.
If I were a Reform rabbi; if I were a leader of the establishment whose money and prestige have succeeded in capturing for himself the leadership and voice of American Jewry; if I were one of the members of the Israeli Government’s ruling group; if I were an enlightened sophisticated, modern Jewish intellectual, I would climb the barricades and join in battle against that most dangerous of all Jewish holidays - Chanukah.
It is a measure of the total ignorance of the world Jewish community that there is no holiday that is more universally celebrated than the “Festival of Lights,” and it is an equal measure of the intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy of Jewish leadership that it plays along with the lie. For if ever there was a holiday that stands for everything that stands for everything that the masses of world Jewry and their leadership has rejected - it is this one. If one would find an event that is truly rooted in everything that Jews of our times and their leaders have rejected and, indeed, attacked - it is this one. If there is any holiday that is more “un-Jewish” in the sense of our modern beliefs and practices - I do not know of it.
The Chanukah that has erupted unto the world Jewish scene in all its childishness, asininity, shallowness, ignorance and fraud is not the Chanukah of reality. The Hanukah that came into vogue because Jewish parents - in their vapidness needed something to counteract Christmas; that exploded in a show of “we-have-lights-just-as-our-goyisha-neighbors” and in an effort to reward our spoiled children with eight gifts instead of the poor Christian one; the Chanukah that the Temple, under its captive Rabbi, turned into a school pageant so that the beaming parents might think that the Religious School is really successful instead of the tragic oke and waste that it really is; the Chanukah that speaks of Jewish Patrick Henrys giving-me-liberty-or-death and that pictures the Maccabees as great liberal saviors who fought so that the kibbutzim might continue to be free to preach their Marx and eat their ham, that the split-level dwellers of suburbia might be allowed to violate their Sabbath in perfect freedom and the Reform and Conservative Temples continue to fight for civil rights for Blacks, Puerto Ricans and Jane Fonda, is not remotely connected with reality.
This is not the Chanukah of our ancestors, of the generations of Jews of Eastern Europe and Yemen and Morocco and Spain and Babylon. It is surely not the Chanukah for which the Maccabees themselves died. Truly, could those whom we honor so munificently, return and see what Chanukah has become, they might very well begin a second Maccabean revolt. For the life that we Jews lead today was the very cause, the real reason for the revolt of the Jews “in those days in our times.”
What happened in that era more than 2000 years ago? What led a handful of Jews to rise up in violence against the enemy? And precisely who was the enemy? What were they fighting for and who were they fighting against? For years the people of Judea had been the vassals of Greece. True independence as a state had been unknown for all those decades and, yet the Jews did not rise in revolt. It was only when the Greek policy shifted from mere political control to one that attempted to suppress the Jewish religion that the revolt erupted in all its bloodiness. It was not mere liberty that led to the Maccabean uprising that we so passionately applaud. What we are really cheering is a brave group of Jews who fought and plunged Judea into a bloodbath for the right to observe the Sabbath, to follow the laws of kashrut, to obey the laws of the Torah. In a word everything about Chanukah that we commemorate and teach our children to commemorate are things we consider to be outmoded, medieval, and childish!
At best, then, those who fought and died for Chanukah were naive and obscurantist. Had we lived in those days we would certainly not have done what they did for everyone knows that the laws of the Torah are not really Divine but only the products of evolution and men (do not the Reform, Reconstructionist, and large parts of the Conservative movements write this daily?) Surely we would not have fought for that which we violate every day of our lives. No, at best Chanukah emerges as a needless holiday if not a foolish one. Poor Hannah and her seven children; poor Mattathias and Judah; poor well meaning chaps all — but hopelessly backward and utterly unnecessary sacrifices.
But there is more. Not only is Chanukah really a foolish and unnecessary holiday, it is also one that is dangerously fanatical and illiberal. The first act of rebellion, the first enemy who fell at the hands of the brave Jewish heroes whom our delightful children portray so cleverly in their Sunday and religious school pageants, was not a Greek. He was a Jew. When the enemy sent his troops into Modin to set up an idol and demand its worship, it was a Jew who decided to exercise his freedom of pagan worship and who approached the altar to worship Zeus (after all, what business was it of anyone what this fellow worshiped?) And it was this Jew, this apostate, this religious traitor who was struck down by the brave, glorious, courageous, (are these not the words all our Sunday schools use to describe him?) Mattathias, as he shouted: “Whoever is for G-d, follow me!”
What have we here? What kind of religious intolerance and bigotry? What kind of a man is this for the anti-religious Ha’shomer Ha’tzair, the graceful temples of suburbia, the sophisticated intellectuals, the liberal, open-minded Jews and all the drones who have wearied us unto death with the concept of Judaism as a humanistic, open-minded, undogmatic, liberal, universalist (if not Marxist) religion, to honor? What kind of nationalism is this for Shimon Peres (he who rejects the ‘Galut’ and speaks of the proud, free Jew of ancient Judea and Israel)?
And to crush us even more (we who know that Judaism is a faith of peace which deplores violence), what kind of Jews were these who reacted to oppression with force? Surely we who so properly have deplored Jewish violence as fascistic, immoral and (above all) un-Jewish, stand in horror as we contemplate Jews who declined to picket the Syrian Greeks to death and who rejected quiet diplomacy for the sword, spear and arrow (had there been bombs in those days, who can tell what they might have done?) and “descended to the level of ‘evil” thus rejecting the ethical and moral concepts of Judaism.
Is this the kind of a holiday we wish to propagate? Are these the kinds of men we want our moral and humanistic children to honor? Is this the kind of Judaism that we wish to observe and pass on to our children? Where shall we find the man of courage, the lone voice in the wilderness, to cry out against Chanukah and the Judaism that it represents - the Judaism of our grandparents and ancestors?
Where shall we find the man of honesty and integrity to attack the Judaism of medievalism and outdated foolishness; the Judaism of bigotry that strikes down Jews who refuse to observe the Law; the Judaism of violence that calls for Jewish force and might against the enemy? When shall we find the courage to proudly eat our Chinese food and violate our Sabbaths and reject all the separateness, nationalism and religious maximalism that Chanukah so ignobly represents? Down with Chanukah! It is a regressive holiday that merely symbolizes the Judaism that always was; the Judaism that was handed down to us from Sinai; the Judaism that made our ancestors ready to give their lives for the L-rd; the Judaism that young people instinctively know is true and great and real. Such a Judaism is dangerous for us and our leaders. We must do all in our power to bury it.