Monday, December 10, 2018

Chanukah Today Because of Christmas Post - WW2

Israel was granted statehood in 1948.  That year was well into post-WW2 when the military returned and moved into American suburbs.   There they faced a new upset - most of these little communities were Christian and with post-war jubilation at the return of  available goods including toys, and the fact that they had the money to buy things, they celebrated Santa with gusto - and made fun of the Jews among them who, of course, do not celebrate Christmas.

No parent likes to see their kid humiliated and made fun of so the rabbis and others decided they needed a holiday of their own and it needed to take place around the same time.  Chanukah fit the bill.  It's the story of the Maccabean Revolt, an action against the Jews Greek and Syrian oppressors. Oddly enough Chanukah was never that big a deal in Israel.

For Christmas lights decorating trees and homes, the eight days of the Festival of Light substituted menorahs, the 8-day candle holder, used blue and white decorations, such as outdoor lights which were the colors of the newly-created Israel flag.

The flag colors of blue and white in turn came from the colors of the tallit or prayer shawl which were white with black stripes and a single blue thread which was dyed blue using blue snail dye which was frequently mentioned in the Torah.

And so from a meanspirited bunch of little kids, Chanukah was upgraded and is celebrated with great gusto today.

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