Hail Sinners, and may your Holidays be Joyous! This truly is the most magical time of the year. (By contrast, scientists have shown that March 21 to March 28 is the least magical time of the year).
In short space of a couple of weeks, there is Christmas, Winter Solstice for Pagans, Kwanza for Kwanzans, Beethoven’s Birthday, and of course, National Handwashing Awareness Week – the most festive of all bacteria-related celebrations, beloved by adults and children alike.
And for members of the Maccabean tribe, there is of course Hanukkah. Today, we will take a few moments to “remember” the “meaning” of this “holy” “day” by putting “important” words in “quotes” so you can “feel” how important these seemingly random “words” can “be”.
The word Hanukkah derives from the Hebrew “Chà-nû-kah” which means, literally, “Similar to Christmas.” Hanukkah, as we know, celebrates the Miracle of the Light, whereby oil that was expected to only last one night actually lasted for eight, proving unequivocally that God had taken the Israelites under his protection, or else that there was actually a bit more oil than the Israelites first thought.
Here is a re-enactment of how the ancient Israelites defeated their enemies, erected an altar in thanks, and lit their “Menorah”. And so begins…
THE HANUKKAH STORY
(desert, evening, two Israelites, at work on a half-completed altar)
Israelite #1: There’s not much oil in this primitive oil-lamp is there?
Israelite #2: Nope, seemeth like maybe only a night’s worth.
Israelite #1: I hope it lasts.
Israelite #2: If the oil runneth out, we will surely perish.
Israelite #1: Really? Couldn’t we just buy some buy some more oil?
Israelite #2: Of course not! Fool. That would ruin the entire premise!
Israelite #1: Okay, okay! But saying we’ll persish seems a little over-the-top, no? I mean, wouldn’t it just be a little darker?
Israelite #2: Silence, Israelite number one! You just don’t get it! Imbecile!
(They return to their work)
Israelite #2: (pausing from his hammering) ‘Tis a good thing we defeated Arsaces and the cruel Parthians.
Israelite #1: I thought it was Antiochus and the cruel Seleucids.
Israelite #2: Was it? I already inscribeth the altar with “Arsaces and the Parthians”. I don’t want to do it over again. Can we just say it was the Parthians?
Israelite #1: We’ll see if anyone notices.
Israelite #2: These are wise words, Israelite number one. I take back what I said about you.
Israelite #1: I say, is that your wife Sara?
Israelite #2: No. That is a camel.
Israelite #1: Oh. Uh…sorry. My bad. She looks a bit like a camel.
Israelite #2: Hey! Watcheth what you sayeth about my wife!
Israelite #1: I said I am sorry. Our primitive oil-lamp is kept low because we have so little oil. The light is dim. She is camel-like in the dimness.
Israelite #2: I toldeth you, my wife is no camel.
Israelite #1: Why do you keep talking funny like that?
Israelite #2: We’re living in ancient times. This is 139 B.C. Everyone talketh like this.
Israelite #1: We say B.C.E.
Israelite #2: We do? I carved “B.C.” on the altar. What’s wrong with just “B.C.”?
Israelite #1: Just squeeze in the “E”. It will be fine.
Israelite #2: What’s the ‘E’ for?
Israelite #2: Something to do with not accepting the divinity of Christ.
Israelite #1: Who is this Christ?
Israelite #2: He’s gets introduced later in the story. He’s very important. Why do you think we’re counting our years backwards?
Israelite #1: I was wondering that.
Israelite #2: We’re counting down to when he shows up.
Israelite #1: Who introduces a main character so late in a story? That’s terrible. We must reject him.
Israelite #2: (pausing, thinking to himself) I have an idea!
Israelite #1: You? An idea? That’s amazing. That’s never happened before. What is this idea?
Israelite #2: If we burn the lamp very very low, we can make this small amount of oil last longer.
Israelite #1: You’re a fricking genius, Israelite Number Two! We must celebrate your genius by declaring the next eight days to be holy days.
Israelite #2: Thank you.
Israelite #1: I was being sarcastic.
Israelite #2: Well, it’s a good idea. We should call it….(Sounds of heavenly singing rise up over the desert)…“Hanukkah”.
Israelite #1: At least, your wife will not look so bad in the darkness.
(Israelite #3 arrives from behind a tent)
Israelite #3: That would be miracle!
Israelite #1: Yes, a Hanukkah miracle!
Everyone have a wonderful holiday!