Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


A great miracle happened on this blog

Filed under : America,Judaism
On December 18, 2006
At 9:05 pm
Comments : 19

That is, I’m actually posting.

Happy Hannukah! If you have been in my apartment you may recognize this as my actual window sill, especially the tell-tale junk on my table as reflected in the window. If you’re good at counting you will notice this is from the third night of the holiday, last night.

I did promise to talk about Hannukah in the scheme of the “holiday season” we have here in these United States and, despite a delay in order to actually have a life, I’m here to fulfill my promise. As you can see, this menorah is in my window (despite the fact that my window faces an attractive alley where precisely no one can see it). The reason I display it for the pigeons is that we are instructed to “advertise the miracle” that happened to us resulting in this holiday. Since we can’t all afford infomercials, we just stick the menorah in the window to do the job.

Incidentally, the most important miracle is not, as Sue Simmons said on Live at Five, that after the desecration of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Greeks, oil that looked like it should only last one day kept the menorah lit for eight (although that was pretty ripping!) but rather, that a tiny band of Jews were able to defeat said Greeks and assimilated Jews and rededicate the Temple. This is where the title of the post comes from and the abbreviation of it is on the four sides of the dreidel (in Israel: A Great Miracle Happened Here, outside: A Great Miracle Happened There).

But that’s about as decorative as Hannukah gets. As a matter of fact, no Jewish holiday is really about sticking big blow-up dolls on your lawn or festooning your home in wreaths. Not to mention, as much as I like it and as great as the miracle was, Hannukah is one of the less important Jewish holidays, mostly because it’s not from Biblical times and, like Purim, happened later. This is all to say, why all the arguments about putting menorahs and dreidels up wherever there’s a tree?

It’s simple to me, really. I don’t really take it as a “catch the Hannukah spirit!” kind of thing, but rather as a sort of shout-out. “Hey! We know it’s not just us Christians and other random Christmas-celebrators out here!” I like to see that. It makes me feel not so left out by all the trees and wreaths and reds and greens. I look at each menorah as if it’s saying, “we at Carmine’s see you, Becca!”

Of course, I didn’t really need to see the menorah at Carmine’s because I was there to have our department’s holiday dinner and do I really need to see a symbol of my religious faith while we all get utterly bombed and the conversation devolves (led by my boss, naturally) into “who in the company would you want to do most?” Luckily, the menorah at Carmine’s was tiny and tucked into a corner.

But I digress. No discussion of Hannukah would be complete without me telling you that you can spell it any way you want to. Unless you’re writing it in Hebrew there’s no correct or incorrect spelling. As you can see, I like this one.

Next post: a picture of an actual Hannukah present I received, as chosen by my 11 year old niece. She knows me pretty well. This teaser is really for my own use as without it, in my current world of crazy-busy, I’d never post again.

Oh, and should you have stayed up at night wondering what baked good I made my co-workers, it was mini-bundt Nutella swirl pound cakes. Hell yeah. Should you also be wondering which person at my company I most wanted to do, that’s between me, my department, and the pathetic little menorah in the corner.


The Chameleons – Miracles And Wonders