Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Happy Chanukah

Today is the first full day of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, commemorating the successful rebellion of the Jews against their Hellenic overlords and the subsequent miracle in which the Temple's one day supply of oil lasted for eight days. (There's a good overview here.)

At least in the US, Chanukah has largely become the "Jewish Christmas," a commercialized holiday devoted to giving and receiving gifts. But there is a much deeper significance to the story, even if you don't believe in the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days.

The Maccabees -- the Jewish rebels who tossed the Greeks out on their posteriors -- didn't win with pleas for tolerance or even harsh language. It was an armed rebellion. Too many Jewish Americans gloss over this fact during all the holiday shopping, menorah lighting, and wolfing down potato pancakes.

The point that American Jews need to take to heart from Chanukah is that sometimes the government is not here to help and the only way left to preserve our freedom is through force. That means the willingness and means to use force. In 2004, the means of force are firearms and that's why it pisses me off to no end that so many Jewish Americans support gun control, especially in light of the most blatant act of antisemitism in history -- the Shoah (Holocaust) -- being a mere 59 years ago.

Obviously not all Jews in the US support gun control (me being an obvious example) but I'd say the majority of us do, and that kind of historical blindness will only serve to come back and bite us in the rear end.


Anonymous said...

I am in favour of gun-control.
But not in the way it's implemented now, definitively not here in Belgium (almost everything is forbidden here, including some alarm pistols).
I think it should be handled more like driving licences. With courses and exams before you can get a licence. And a prohibition of selling guns to people without a licence.

Dave Markowitz said...

The problems with registration and licensing are several:

1. In the US administration and issuance tends to be done on an arbitrary basis.

2. Registration leads to confiscation.

3. No benefit to registration has ever been proven.

Kerry Doyal said...

Intesting connection of Chanukah & gun control...

Anonymous said...

The Maccabee wars were not just against the Greek King Antiochus. There was much fighting by the Maccabee Jews against assimilated Jews that admired the "advanced Greek culture." The struggle had elements of a civil war between the two Jewish camps. The Greek supporting Jews wanted to be pagan, body-worshipping, and accepting of man-boy love like the Greeks. The Maccabee Jews were squares that followed the Bible. So, ironically, the favorite holiday of assimilated American Jews is a celebration of a victory over people like David Geffen and Chuck Schumer. Blessed art thou, o Lord, and pass the ammunition!

Anonymous said...

"When you disarm your subjects you offend them by showing that, either for cowardliness or lack of faith, you distrust them; and either conclusion will induce them to hate you."
- Machiavelli

Xavier said...

Good stuff Dave!

Thank you.

Susan said...

I've never understood that either. Or why there are Mormons who support it, after their treatment by the government. Short historical memories, perhaps? (Paul's Wife)

Anonymous said...

fascinating connection indeed - interesting that many Jews have submitted to support the renouncing of resources (firearms being one example of a resource).

self-immolation isn't just an act- it's also neglecting to recognize that survival requires conscious action - and that action requires the use of resources.

an interesting contradiction (going beyond gun-control) for a group of people so committed to survival...

great post

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