Chappy Chanuka!

Tonight is the 1st night of Chanuka, the Jewish Festival of Lights. Jeff Dunetz at Yid With Lid has a lot of musings on the holiday and its meaning. Unlike most other Jewish holidays, which commemorate events that some consider mythological, the rabbinical holiday of Chanuka/Ḥanuka/חנוכה celebrates an event that is unambiguously historical, the overthrow of tyrant Antiochus IV “Epiphanes” (yes, the mamzer called himself “god made flesh”, and thought his subject should be worshiping him) by a group of insurgents who called themselves the Maccabim (Maccabees, מכבים).

The term “Maccabee” (מכבי) possibly started as a Hebrew acronym (מכב׳׳י) for the phrase mi kamocha ba-eilim Ad-nai , “who is like Thee among the g-ds, O L-RD”. Alternatively, it could refer to the leader of the Maccabee Uprising, Matityahu ha-Cohen ben-Yochanan (מתיתיהו הכהן בן יוחנן).

Below is a 3-part video series by Sam Aronow on the history of the events.

Happy chanuka, chag urim sameach!

BONUS: will the “omicron variant” of COVID19 be a party pooper? Dr. John Campbell does not sound overly concerned. The new variant [note that they skipped not only nu, which sounds too similar to “new”, but also xi/ksi: coincidence? UPDATE: no.] Appears to be more contagious and may be partially immune-escaping, but people who were vaccinated are recovered from an earlier variant are seeing very mild symptoms, reports Dr. Coetzee, the head of the South African doctor’s federation.

Israel took the drastic step of closing its airport to foreigners for two weeks, but that seems more like an “abundance of caution” measure than a dire necessity at this point. We just have a booster shot campaign behind us that has reduced our morbidity to 5% of what it was at the peak of the recent wave. Stay tuned to this channel for further updates.

2 thoughts on “Chappy Chanuka!

  1. Chappy Channukah to you too.

    Talking of Macabees and the like. My father had a musical riddle which came from his father and presumably so on down the generations

    Q: What work of Handel do you use to ask a old conservative peer to make you a beehive?
    A: Oratorio Judas Maccabeus
    (Hoary tory, O do just make a bee ‘ouse)

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