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      by Tamar Yonah
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      Tamar Yonah is one of Israel's most popular English-speaking radio show hosts. She made Aliyah from Southern California and after serving in the Israeli army began a prolific career in radio, including production, news and program development. She was the original creator and producer of 'The Aliyah Show' and still works whenever she can in that field. Tamar is a political activist, wife and mother residing in Judea and Samaria and currently hosts the top-rated shows of The Weekend Edition & The Tamar Yonah Show. Her award winning blog covers current events, religion, politics and anything else that's on her mind.

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      Kislev 27, 5769, 12/24/2008

      DOWN WITH CHANUKAH!

      by Tamar Yonah

      DOWN WITH CHANUKAH!  This is a piece written by Rabbi Meir Kahane z"l back on­ December 15, 1972.  I think it is a very important piece to dwell on and internalize, especially since this holiday is one of the holidays that most diaspora jews choose to celebrate.  The problem is that the meaning of Chanukah gets lost in the Diaspora, seeming to compete with Christmas, losing its most important message, that of the fight for religious freedom to be a Jew.  A video follows below that I think is important to watch, though I am not suggesting who to vote for, as I myself have not decided where to cast a vote and to my knowledge, this United Torah Block does not yet exist.  If someone knows otherwise, please post about it below.


      Rabbi Meir Kahane Writings (5732-33) (1971-73)

      If I were a Reform rabbi; if I were a leader of the Establishment whose money and prestige have succeeded in capturing for him the leadership and voice of American Jewry; if I were one of the members of the Israeli Government's ruling group; if I were an
      enlightened sophisticated, modern Jewish intellectual, I would climb the barricades and join in battle against the most dangerous of all Jewish holidays ­ Chanukah.

         It is a measure of the total ignorance of the world Jewish
      community that there is no holiday that is more universally celebrated
      than the "Feast of Lights", and it is an equal measure of the
      intellectual dishonesty and of Jewish leadership that it plays along
      with the lie.  For if ever there was a holiday that stands for
      everything that the mass of world Jewry and their leadership has
      rejected ­ it is this one.  If one would find an event that is truly
      rooted in everything that Jews of our times and their leaders have
      rejected and, indeed, attacked ­ it is this one.  If there is any
      holiday that is more "unJewish" in the sense of our modern beliefs and
      practices ­ I do not know of it.

      The Chanukah that has erupted unto the world Jewish scene
      in all its childishness, asininity, shallowness, ignorance and fraud ­
      is not the Chanukah of reality.  The Chanukah that came into vogue
      because of Jewish parents ­ in their vapidness ­ needed something to
      counteract Christmas; that exploded in a show of
      "we-can-have-lights-just-as-our-goyish-neighbors" and in an effort to
      reward our spoiled children with eight gifts instead of the poor
      Christian one; the Chanukah that the Temple, under its captive rabbi,
      turned into a school pageant so that the beaming parents might think
      that the Religious School is really successful instead of the tragic
      joke and waste that it really is; the Chanukah that speaks of Jewish
      Patrick Henrys giving-me-liberty-or death and the pictures of
      Maccabees as great liberal saviors who fought so that the kibbutzim
      might continue to be free to preach their Marx and eat their ham, that
      the split-level dwellers of suburbia might be allowed to violate their
      Sabbath in perfect freedom and the Reform and Conservative Temples
      continue the fight for civil rights for Blacks, Puerto Ricans and Jane
      Fonda, is not remotely connected with reality.

                  This is NOT the Chanukah of our ancestors, of the
      generations of Jews of Eastern Europe and Yemen and Morocco and the
      crusades and Spain and Babylon.  It is surely not the Chanukah for
      which the Maccabees themselves died.  Truly, could those whom we honor
      so munificently, return and see what Chanukah has become, they might
      very well begin a second Maccabean revolt.  For the life that we Jews
      lead today was the very cause, the REAL reason for the revolt of the
      Jews "in those days in our times."

                  What happened in that era more than 2000 years ago?  What
      led a handful of Jews to rise up in violence against the enemy?  And
      precisely who WAS the enemy?  What were they fighting FOR and who were
      they fighting AGAINST?

                  For years, the people of Judea had been the vassals of
      Greece.  True independence as a state had been unknown for all those
      decades and, yet, the Jews did not rise up in revolt.  It was only
      when the Greek policy shifted from mere political control to one that
      attempted to suppress the Jewish religion that the revolt erupted in
      all its bloodiness.  It was not mere liberty that led to the Maccabean
      uprising that we so passionately applaud.  What we are really cheering
      is a brave group of Jews who fought and plunged Judea into a bloodbath
      for the right to observe the Sabbath, to follow the laws of kashruth,
      to obey the laws of the Torah.  IN A WORD EVERYTHING ABOUT CHANUKAH
      THAT WE COMMEMORATE AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO COMMEMORATE ARE THINGS
      WE CONSIDER TO BE OUTMODED, MEDIEVAL AND CHILDISH!

                  At best, then, those who fought and died for Chanukah were
      naïve and obscurantist.  Had we lived in those days we would certainly
      not have done what they did for everyone knows that the laws of the
      Torah are not really Divine but only the products of evolution and men
      (do not the Reform, Reconstructionist and large parts of the
      Conservative movements write this daily?)  Surely we would not have
      fought for that which we violate every day of our lives!  No, at best
      Chanukah emerges as a needless holiday if not a foolish one.  Poor
      Hannah and her seven children; poor Mattathias and Judah; poor well
      meaning chaps all but hopelessly backward and utterly unnecessary
      sacrifices.

                  But there is more.  Not only is Chanukah really a foolish
      and unnecessary holiday, it is also one that is dangerously fanatical
      and illiberal. The first act of rebellion, the first enemy who fell at
      the hands of the brave Jewish heroes whom our delightful children
      portray so cleverly in their Sunday and religious school pageants, was
      NOT a Greek.  He was a Jew.

                  When the enemy sent its troops into the town of Modin to
      set up an idol and demand its worship, it was a Jew who decided to
      exercise his freedom of pagan worship and who approached the altar to
      worship Zeus (after all, what business was it of anyone what this
      fellow worshipped?)  And it was this Jew, this apostate, this
      religious traitor who was struck down by the brave, glorious,
      courageous (are these not the words all our Sunday schools use to
      describe him?) Mattathias, as he shouted: "Whoever is for G-d, follow
      me!"

                  What have we here?  What kind of religious intolerance and
      bigotry?  What kind of a man is this for the anti-religious of
      Hashomer Hatzair, the graceful temples of suburbia, the sophisticated
      intellectuals, the liberal open-minded Jews and all the drones who
      have wearied us unto death with the concept of Judaism as a
      humanistic, open-minded, undogmatic, liberal, universalistic (if not
      Marxist) religion, to honor?  What kind of nationalism is this for
      David-Ben-Gurion (he who rejects the Galut and speaks of the proud,
      free Jew of ancient Judea and Israel)?

                  And to crush us even more (we who know that Judaism is a
      faith of peace which deplores violence), what kind of Jews were these
      who reacted to oppression with FORCE?  Surely we who so properly have
      deplored Jewish violence as fascistic, immoral and (above all!)
      UN-JEWISH, stand in horror as we contemplate Jews who declined to
      picket the Syrian Greeks to death and who rejected quiet diplomacy for
      the sword, spear and arrow (had there been bombs in those days, who
      can tell what they might have done?) and "descended to the level of
      evil," thus rejecting the ethical and moral concepts of Judaism.

                  Is this the kind of a holiday we wish to propagate?  Are
      these the kinds of men we want our moral and humanistic children to
      honor?  Is this the kind of Judaism that we wish to observe and pass
      on to our children?

                  Where shall we find the man of courage the one voice, in
      the wilderness to cry out against Chanukah and the Judaism that it
      represents-the Judaism of our grandparents and ancestors?  Where shall
      we find the man of honesty and integrity to attack the Judaism of
      Medievalism and outdated foolishness; the Judaism of bigotry that
      strikes down Jews who refuse to observe the law; the Judaism of
      violence that calls for Jewish force and might against the enemy?
      When shall we find the courage to proudly eat our Chinese food and
      violate our Sabbaths and reject all the separateness, nationalism and
      religious maximalism that Chanukah so ignobly represents?  …Down with
      Chanukah!  It is a regressive holiday that merely symbolizes the
      Judaism that always was; the Judaism that was handed down to us from
      Sinai; the Judaism that made our ancestors ready to give their lives
      for the L-rd; the Judaism that young people instinctively know is true
      and great and real.  Such Judaism is dangerous for us and our leaders.
      We must do all in our power to bury it.