Saturday, December 12, 2009
Happy Hanukkah or Cheerful Chanukah
Yesterday was Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. As this Register editorial notes, it is largely a festival of religious freedom, commemorating the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Seleucid empire, which tried to stamp out traditional Jewish religious expression -- replacing it with Greek customs and gods the conquerors no doubt believed were more sophisticated and enlightened. Funny how conquerors, who generally conquer by the most primitive, basic and brutal of means -- the use of force -- almost always consider themselves more enlightened than those they have conquered. To the victor goes the hubris.