Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Giving Thanks"

Tonight begins Chanukah, which marks two events. 
The victory of the Maccabees over Hellenistic forces that were destroying Judaism. 
And the miracle of the oil in the rededicated Temple that lasted for eight days when it should have been enough for only one day. Thus the lighting of candles for eight days and the use of oil in cooking foods, such as sufganiyot (donuts) here in Israel.
Over the past few days, I’ve gone to four different stores in an attempt to find Hanukkah candles. When I ask about the candles, the clerks look at me like I’ve lost my mind and try to show me other candles I might like to buy. It’s not that they don’t know what Hanukkah is or that candles are involved in it. It’s that their vision of Hanukkah is just Jewish Christmas … so I’m asking them for candles about a month too soon. Except that, this year, Hanukkah begins next week and I need some candles. All of these stores are going to stock their shelves with Hanukkah candles in mid-December and they’re going to be perplexed that no one’s buying them. And then they’re going to order fewer boxes of candles for 2014, assuming that the Jewish community has either left town en masse, has given up on Hanukkah, or is shopping at a different store.
Credit: Kohenari
When we light the candles we say that they are for remembering the miracles and the wondrous victories that were ours in those days, for which we are to be thankful.
Indeed, but miracles and victories are with us always, and always there are reasons for giving thanks.
MK David Rotem, of the Yisrael Beitenu party, is Chair of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee. 
David Rotem
Credit:  Ariel Jerozolimski/JPost
He has now announced that there will be a hearing in that Committee on the Levy Report, which provides the legal basis for Israel's rights in Judea and Samaria.  The Commission had determined, after extensive legal research, that Israeli building in Judea and Samaria is not illegal, that Israel is not an "occupier," and that the Geneva Convention does not apply to those Israelis living in Judea and Samaria.
Rotem's announcement came after a year in which nothing was said in the Knesset about the Levy Report.  The date of the hearing has yet to be announced, but it will be soon.
The JPost carried a story about this today: 
And it included this quote by Rotem:
"It’s our duty to ensure that Justice Levy’s report is adopted by the government.”
The theme of thanks, of course, has an additional meaning this year, for tomorrow, the first day of Chanukah, is also Thanksgiving.
And so I say Chanukah Sameach, and Happy Thanksgiving, and end will a lovely little video of the Chanukah classic Ma'oz Tzur:
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