Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hanukah

Obama and White House issued Hanukkah message in Hebrew today. Which is chillingly weird to read. Not saying the message is bad - or anything bad about Obama here, just reading a message from the White House in Hebrew feels weird to me.

I'm used to everything here, Michigan and all the USA, translated and issued in every possible language, EXCEPT Hebrew. And I'm fine with it. Because most Israelis and Jews who choose to settle in the US - also learn or know the language. What's different here? The message is supposed to improve ties with Jews in Israel.

Was this the equivalent of the 'reset button'? Read the message in Hebrew here.

Obama's Hanukkah Message: Faith and Perseverance
President Obama released his Hanukkah statement Friday, offering up a message of faith and strength amid adversity.

"The Maccabees and the miracles they witnessed reminds us that faith and perseverance are powerful forces that can sustain us in difficult times and help us overcome even the greatest odds," said Mr. Obama.

The message was released both in English and Hebrew.

The eight-day Jewish holiday begins at sundown tonight. It is observed with the lighting of candles atop a menorah, eating food related to Hanukkah and recalling the story behind the holiday.

"Hanukkah is not only a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but for people of all faiths to celebrate the common aspirations we share," said Mr. Obama.

Hanukah celebrates the events of year 167 BC, when Jewish rebels led by Judah the Maccabee defeated the Syrian-Greek Antiochus IV, briefly regaining their independence.

Part of the miracle the holiday celebrates is that a one-day supply of oil in the Holy Temple lasted 8 days.

"May Hanukkah's lessons inspire us all to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, to find light in times of darkness, and to work together for a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow," the president said.

The lesson of fighting away conquerors of Jewish land and purifying it from everything non-religious-Jewish? That lesson?! Or is someone misunderstanding the story here? I'm assuming Obama meant something completely different, in the sense of - the story of Maccabi is a horror story, you - Jews - need to learn a lesson to live peacefully and pacifist-like with those wishing to annihilate you. Now observe your candles and stop complaining about me preventing you from building and living in Jerusalem.

Conversely, it's another verse in the Christmas classic from South Park:

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