Bintel Blog

Hanukkah Dichotomy: Miracles vs. Maccabees

By Daniel Treiman

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As I noted earlier on this blog, atheist firebrand Christopher Hitchens finds Hanukkah wholly objectionable, whether it’s the miracle or the Maccabees’ Hasmonean dynasty. The JTA’s Ami Eden takes him to task for lumping the two aspects of the holiday together:

By emphasizing the miracle of the oil, the rabbis in the Talmud were essentially attempting to write the Hasmonean rulers that Hitchens so detests out of the story. Yes, the rabbis’ narrative is still an anti-Greek one, but even from Hitchens’ perspective, this shift in emphasis should be seen as progress.

Over on Jewcy, cartoonist par excellence, Eli Valley, and his iconoclastic collaborator, David Kelsey, offer their own comic take on Hanukkah, combining the acid assessment of Hitchens with Eden’s nuance.


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