Thursday, December 22, 2005

Channukah -- Another media outlet gets it wrong

From the San Antonio Express-News:

San Antonio Celebrates Jewish-Catholic Understanding

San Fernando Center hosts forth annual menorah lighting

Hanukkah is a continuing symbol of hope for the world, especially when Jews and Christians celebrate it together in mutual friendship and respect.

Well, yes, I think Christians would be interested in celebrating Hanukkah (or Channukah, or however you transliterate it), becuase if Antiohcus (not to mention Jason and Menalaeus) had been successful in turning the Jews in hellenistic pagans, then Jesus would have been a hellenistic pagan, and the Jewish sect of Christianity wouldn't have developed, and Constantine would have needed to find some other way to unify the Roman Empire, and whatwever might have happened, Europe would not have been Christian, nobodyt would have been Chisitan. So we can basically blame Judah Maccabbee for Christianity, not to mention Islam.

All snark aside, I'm glad Christians are acknowledging their Jewish neighors. It should be noted, however, that the Christians invlved are Roman Catholics, not Bible-thumping Protestiant fundamentalists.

But Ms. Rose Mary Budge, staff writer for the News-Express continues to propagate misconceptions about Hannukah. It's not her fault -- even many rabbis see fit to indctriate their flocks with these falsehoods.

Wednesday's event continued a tradition started in 2001 when Pope John Paul II formally recognized the Jewish holiday of religious freedom at the Vatican for the first time in the history of the Catholic Church.

. . .

Jerusalem's temple was restored in 165 B.C. after the Maccabees waged a guerrilla war against the Syrian Greeks. The latter had desecrated the temple and forced Jews to adopt pagan practices.

This is not true. This was a Jewish Civil War. And one faction of Jews was perfectly happy to voluntarily adopt pagan practices. The winners, the Jewish Taliban otherwise known as the Hasmoneans, themslves became Hellenized after a couple of generations, and became so corrupt that the Jews basically welcomed Roman rule as an improvement in their situation. The rabbis of the Talmud hated the Hasmoneans so much that the couldn't even stomach the concept of Hannukah without adding the mishugass about the 8-day miracle of the oil.

As for me, I like lighting candles and eating latkes, but then again, I choose .... Chanumas!


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