Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hanukkah And Christmas, Again

I have posted this meditation on the complimentarity of Hanukkah and Christmas every year since I started this blog four years ago. Last year I added something more. This year, I suggest one might get into the spirit of the moment by listening to this remarkable broadcast on Judas Maccabeus from the BBC's wonderful "In Our Time" series with Melvyn Bragg.

The scholars interviewed give a very rich context for the Hasmonians' revolt, and for the ultimate collapse of their regime, which, I dare say, no Hellenized Jew, from Philo to Maimonides, Herzl to Henny Youngman, would have cared to live under. The final word goes to Youngman, who said that the miracle of Hanukkah is actually recurrent: "You eat a latke and it burns for eight days."