Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Hanukkah!

Today begins the Festival of Lights, an eight-day celebration that commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the Second Century during a revolt against Greek rule by a Hebrew commander called Judah Maccabee. (Hat tip to wikipedia).

Matt Haughey has posted a link to a fun song for the holiday. One that places it nicely in a modern context.

I grew up in an area that had a healthy mix of faiths. I was raised a Catholic but a great many of my friends were Jewish (and some were Hindu and some Muslim, but that is a post for other holidays). We were aware of and took pleasure in each other's holidays. There was no "War on Christmas." There a universal respect for our various cultures. And there was occasional jealousy over gift-getting traditions, but that was minor.

For a full primer on Hanukkah, I strongly recommend "A Rugrats Chanukah," which tells the story of the Maccabean revolt through the imaginations of Tommy, Chucky, Angelica, and Phil'n'Lil. Watching The Rugrats was an added bonus for me during the time of small children, and this retelling of the Hanukkah story contains one of my favorite Rugrats moments: when Tommy emerges from a cave, dressed as one of the Maccabees, and declares, "A macca-baby's gotta do what a macca-baby's gotta do!"

1 comment:

Shirley Vandever said...

Ha. You probably grew up alot like me. I remember being jealous of my Jewish girlfriend Susan because she had so many more "days" to get presents.

I don't remember any 'war on Christmas' either. Everybody just did their own thing and appreciated each other for what they believed. It was no big deal.

I wonder why it is now?

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mike.

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