Hanukkah often is the most misunderstood Jewish vacation. Thought-about a minor celebration of a victory that came about over 2,300 years in the past, it has necessary implications for the tradition conflict that rocks America at present.
Hanukkah is, partially, a couple of conflict of nationwide liberation. The Syrian Greeks (a remnant of Alexander the Nice’s empire) occupied the land of Israel within the second century BCE.
They believed the Jews have been primitive folks obsessive about their thought of 1 common God, whereas the Greek pantheon (with gods who had human attributes) may very well be associated to extra simply. Worse, the God of Israel had an ethical code the Greeks discovered frankly obnoxious.
Greek civilization had philosophy, artwork, music and literature. The Jews have been seen as a backward lot with their flocks and fields — the traditional equal of flyover nation.
The occupiers tried to civilize the conquered by outlawing the apply of Judaism (together with circumcision and Torah examine — which they discovered actually threatening). They arrange idols within the Temple and constructed gymnasiums the place younger males practiced within the nude, an assault on modesty. Violating their edicts was punishable by dying.
An aged priest named Mattathias and his sons (who got here to be known as Maccabees) led a revolt. Greek civilization was defeated by a guerrilla band. The Temple was cleansed and rededicated. A miracle occurred when sacred oil that ought to have lasted a day burned for eight, in remembrance of which Jews gentle menorahs for the eight nights of the Pageant of Lights.
Hanukkah commemorates the preliminary battle for the soul of the West between Athens and Jerusalem. Greeks worshipped the ephemeral, Jews the transcendent. For Greeks, magnificence was holy. For Jews, the holy was stunning.
Now, greater than two millenniums later, it’s “Hanukkah: The Sequel.”
The 2 sides appear remarkably just like these within the Hanukkah story. Within the tradition conflict, one aspect believes in an evolving ethical code formed by comfort and widespread opinion. The opposite subscribes to a code that’s each common and everlasting.
The left views conservatives because the intellectually nice unwashed, fanatics pushed by hate — MAGA nation. Just like the Greek occupiers of historic Israel, it’s decided to civilize us by compelling us to worship its idols, together with homosexual marriage, gender ideology and abortion on demand. Congress simply handed the deceptively named Respect for Marriage Act, which mandates same-sex unions nationally, whatever the sentiments of primitives within the hinterlands.
This sweeps apart the ethical code of Sinai on which America was based. There are punishments for individuals who resist. Two circumstances earlier than the Supreme Courtroom, involving a Christian baker and a Christian internet designer, will determine if the federal government can compel dissenters to affirm that which their hearts inform them is unsuitable.
A key part of gender ideology is transgenderism. Will ladies be compelled to bathe and use restrooms with organic males who say they’re feminine? Will girls’s sports activities be open to males with superior power and agility?
Morality, modesty and security — all are to be sacrificed on the altar of range and inclusion.
Abortion is probably the most contentious entrance within the tradition conflict. Advocates of abortion entry declare to have the precise to get rid of inconvenient life. It calls for a proper to abortion up-to-the-minute of start — in different phrases, for a totally shaped youngster nicely previous the purpose the place it could survive outdoors the womb.
In addition to guaranteeing this purported proper, its proponents would pressure taxpayers to subsidize it and medical personnel to take part within the process.
Following Mosaic regulation, for the Jews, human life was sacred. The Greeks had no compunctions about infanticide. Newborns who have been sickly, deformed or undesirable may very well be uncovered to the weather.
Within the aftermath of Dobbs, we noticed the actual face of the pro-abortion motion — church buildings vandalized, disaster being pregnant facilities attacked, dying threats and the tried homicide of a Supreme Courtroom justice. Violence within the womb begat violence within the streets.
In our tradition conflict, at present’s Greeks maintain the excessive floor. The Maccabees are all over the place in retreat.
The left has the information media, leisure, Large Tech and many of the federal institution. In consequence, America is quickly secularizing — changing into one nation below nothing.
Firstly of his revolt, Mattathias issued the stirring name to arms, “Whoever is for God, comply with me.”
In America of the twenty first century, the place will we discover our Maccabees?
• Don Feder is a columnist with The Washington Occasions.