13 thoughts on “The War on Chanukah

  1. Context is important Mobius. Being a Phillyan, I clicked on that link. Turns out it’s the far end of my neighborhood. More probable than being an anti-semitic thing, it was probably done by the amorphous roving teens who tend to get very aggressive when they get high, and think no one is looking (a macho thing).
    After returning from a trip, a few months ago, I found my door vandalized, and I attributed it to the anti-Bush/Cheney and anti-Iraqi war posters in my windows (I’ll send you photos). The side view mirror on my car was also smashed, and the lock to the trunk broken. The car did not have the Gush Shalom sticker on it, then — it only had a “God bless the whole world, no exceptions” one on it.

  2. South Philly is my neighborhood, and vandalism is an every night occurence, so I don’t think the destruction of the Menorah was anti-semitic in origin.
    In this area, people chain their outdoor benches to their railings.
    Some months ago, when I returned from a trip, I found my door busted up; the windows had anti-Iraq war and anti-Bush/Cheney posters on them, but nothing Jewish.
    Similarly, my car was vandalized before I put the Gush Shalom sticker on it. Someone apparently didn’t like the ‘God bless the whole world, no exceptions’ bumper sticker…

  3. I saw the Houston one locally. Those blow up decorations are revolting for Christians,as it is…The Dreidel bear and blow up Menorah…gag… WWJMD…what would Judah Macabee do?

  4. The vandalization of these menorahs is indeed senseless and stupid. Gigantic, Chabad-sponsored menorahs are here to stay — and so is our new take on Chanukah, which is now suddenly all about tolerance and religious freedom. The chabad rabbi in Sunnyvale is quoted as saying, “The menorah and its message of tolerance and religious freedom will once again steadily illuminate the dark landscape that acts like this represent.” But it seems that he has forgotten the true meaning of Chanukah, which actually commemorates the victory of a small minority of violent, totalitarian Jewish fundamentalists over the more assimilated, pro-Hellenist Jewish majority in Jerusalem during the second century B.C.E. The real story of Chanukah is one that includes such things as the smashing of religious alters and forced circumcisions. The “miracle” of the oil in the Holy Temple lamp that lasted eight days was invented many years after the fact. So how did the celebration of a violent, fundamentalist religious victory become a “message of tolerance”?

  5. “But it seems that he has forgotten the true meaning of Chanukah, which actually commemorates the victory of a small minority of violent, totalitarian Jewish fundamentalists over the more assimilated, pro-Hellenist Jewish majority in Jerusalem during the second century B.C.E. The real story of Chanukah is one that includes such things as the smashing of religious alters and forced circumcisions.”
    Hmm, there is a lesson in there somewhere. What could it be?

  6. I live near Amherst, and I believe I heard their menorah was vandalized twice, once after a community coming-together that saw it rededicated.
    I have to say, it’s likely that in Amherst, not a haven for Xian fundies and Bill O’Reilly types, but a lefty town that votes to legalize dope and boycotts Burma, I would hazard a guess that the vandalism may have come from the “anti-Zionist” form of antisemites that are being bred at the University of Massachusetts…just a guess…

  7. Jews must band together to condemn and thwart attacks against us. Most of these comments reflect the safety and relative disinterest in the plight of fellow Jews. Instead of dithering on the PC words of a rabbi or the historic origins of Chanukah, go grab a camera and track the vandals who feel free to attack our people. Or at least give credence to the attacks instead of explaining them away. There’s new wind in the sails of anti-Semitism and it’s up to us to change course.

  8. From the reports on the attacks, I DO give credence to the anti-semitism behind most of them.
    But not South Philly. We’ve got a bunch of petty hoodlums prowling the streets at night, but they’re not of the anti-semitic variety.
    As for the camera idea, it’s a good one (I frequently carry mine with me), but those who commit such desecrations, generally do it when there’s no one else around (except their co-thugsters).

  9. Zach, while it is a noble gesture, how do you videotape vandalism after it has already happened? These things are almost never solved. I think Amherst did the best they could do, and held a rally in support of the menorah.

  10. Does it count that I think my menorah tried to kill me? For serious, you guys…on like, the 5th night during my Moaz Tzur I almost burst into flames!!! I’m thinking of starting an organization…JADML (Jews against drunk menorah lighting).

  11. I saw the Menorah in Amherst vandalized, actually i drove by and just figured it broke by itself, one arm was hanging off, thats all I saw. As for the Anti Zionist breed of anti-semite at UMass, there are some but they are more anti government. the most rabbid ones come from the Student Socialist group. They basically tried to start a fight when the JSU sponsored Yaakov Katz to come talk. But the Student Alliance For Israel is alive and well. So I wouldn’t expect anything crazy to go down at UMass. We have a large, and growing Orthodox community that is separate from Chabad as well, and plenty of non-observant religious types, and a handful of Israelis. However though, it is true, the level of liberal-ness in Amherst is like a world apart, even for liberals like myself. They basically will rally behind anyone they see as the underdog, no matter what.
    It frustrates me though, that Chabad needs to put up a menorah in the middle of town, with a big sign about bringing Moshiach. Now I’m MO, but seriously its not necessary. Amherst is a town where they don’t even put up a christmas tree. They’re that liberal. So keep your religious symbols on your own property, no need for this dumb war stuff. If the town puts up a tree, put up a menorah, fine. keep it fair. But Amherst doesn’t do that.

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