Maccabees

We Need A Little Chanukah

12/18/2014
Jewish Week Online Columnist

It is difficult, if not impossible, to walk into a store at this time of year without being subjected to mind-numbing Christmas Musack playing in the background, just soft enough that you can speak over it, but also just loud enough that you can’t help but hear it. I assume that the intention is to put shoppers in the “Christmas spirit,” and make them spend more. I doubt that it has any positive effect in that regard. The message, though, comes through loud and clear in ways both liminal and subliminal: “We need a little Christmas, right this very minute.”

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

Chanukah: Are We So Different From The Hellenists?

As Chanukah departs, let's take one last look back at the Maccabees' triumph over the Hellenists. Was it a victory of ideas as well as a physical conquest?

Rabbi Michael Levy

Chanukah: A History, In Verse

Of our Chanukah I write, when we drew the swords to fight.
You have heard of the eight nights, but not how they came to light.

It started when Antiochus was out to conquer land,
His new Hellenized empire was all set to expand.
And there were many foolish Jews, supported his command,
They'd give up their religion if deemed popular demand.

The Jewish High-Priest Menelaus promoted a decree,

A latter-day Chanukah miracle: the world's largest menorah, lit by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in Manhattan. Getty Images

Paradise By The Chanukiah Light

11/30/2012
Jewish Week Online Columnist

There’s a little 6-year-old Marci that is bouncing up and down at the thought of Chanukah approaching.

Rabbi Marci N. Bellows

Mel Gibson, Screenwriter Spar Over Maccabees Movie

04/15/2012

Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas said in a letter to Mel Gibson that the actor and filmmaker "hates Jews." Ezsterhas sent the letter following Warner Bros.' rejection of his screenplay for Gibson's movie about Judah Maccabee.

The letter, published on The Wrap.com, accuses Gibson of not really wanting to make the film, and sabotaging it, saying: "I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason you won’t make ‘The Maccabees’ is the ugliest possible one. You hate Jews.”

Chanukah: Minor Festival, Major Message

12/15/2011
Jewish Week Online Columnist

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote a piece for this paper about Pilgrims and Native Americans.  It spoke of how the legacy of the Thanksgiving story often falls prey to deconstructionists, who value historical truth over cultural myth at all cost. Rather than have children- and, for that matter, adults- celebrate a cherished American belief in a common appreciation of blessings, they would argue that historical reality in all of its messiness- or at least, the probability of its being reality- must trump exercises in feel-good nostalgia rooted in legend.
 

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik is the spiritual leader of the Forest Hills Jewish Center in Queens.
Syndicate content