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


19 Comments for this post

  1. RN says:

    What? You think menorah’s don’t talk?

  2. Sarpon says:

    Time to sing another chorus of “They tried to kill us! God saved us! Let’s eat!”

  3. Alex says:

    Yay, the Chanukah post!

    I figured you were occupied with having a life or something, and I didn’t want to be a noodge, but I HAVE been waiting. Did you see my footprints all over your blog as I came back several times a day looking for the Chanukah post? I felt almost like Linus in “A Charlie Brown Chanukah,” waiting all alone, with perfect faith, for the arrival of the Great Hasmonean.

    Happy Chanukah, all. Now, go eat some latkes and jelly doughnuts–a well-balanced meal if ever there was one.

  4. Becca says:

    What, me? I never look at my stats, everyone knows that.

    PS, you spelled Hannukah wrong.

  5. Alex says:

    Chanukah: chet-nun-kaf-hay. What’s wrong with that?

  6. CSIGirl says:

    I just wanted to say Happy Hannukah Becca!

  7. Emeraldmph says:

    I’m so calling what I do at this time of year “random Christmas” from now on. And your cakes sound awesome.

  8. Becca says:

    Alex, don’t be a smartass. No wait, I like smartasses. Carry on.

    CSI, thanks! Happy holidays to you too.

    Em, the random was to describe the celebrators, not Christmas, but your way works too. And thanks, I hope they were.

  9. Sarpon says:

    Is that a special Menorah tray you have there, Becca? Or jus an oversized butter dish you pressed into service? My family traditionally used folded over Reynolds wrap.

  10. Becca says:

    Actually, it’s a special tray I use for my sabbath candles (it says “Peaceful Sabbath” in Hebrew amongst the tiny flowers) that’s been pressed into service.

    That’s not my special Hannukah Bic lighter either, but it’s quite handy.

  11. Emeraldmph says:

    Becca, I knew exactly what you were saying, but I was just itching to rename this holiday for myself. And then you go ahead and do it for me!

  12. Soxy says:

    This may be a stupid question, but are those special Hannukah candles? Do the colors mean something?

    (I had to cut and paste Hannukah so I could spell it correctly, btw)

  13. RN says:

    But did you buy said candles at Duane Reade?

  14. Sarpon says:

    Soxy, perhaps you are thinking of Kwanzaa candles, which are red, green and black. For Kwnzaa, the colors do matter.

  15. Jan says:

    If I were getting you a December holiday present, Bec, it would be this:

    Songs include:
    “How Do You Spell Channukkahh?”
    “Jewish Girls (At The Matzoh Ball)”
    “Applesauce Vs. Sourcream”
    “Goyim Friends”

  16. Becca says:

    Em, excellent, I live to serve!

    Soxy, they are but only because they fit into the special menorah holes. The colors are for purely decorative/entertainment value. I try to find the box with the most colors, thereby ensuring all store employees hate me.

  17. Becca says:

    RN, I did not but the matches are indeed from there. I should have arranged the matchbook so you could see their logo, but alas, I left the scene true-to-life, including my filthy window.

    Jan, I have a friend who met her husband at the Matzoh Ball, I kid you not my goyish friend.

    OK, comments are reopened. I only lost my own in the shuffle, but I’ve tried to reconstruct them, because, you know, they were so very thrilling.

  18. Dah says:

    Oh, come on! The Adam Sandler Hannukah song ain’t good enough for you? Geese.

  19. MamaC says:

    At BAC, we played push, do or marry. A most excellent game.

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