Happy Hanukkah!

The eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. Hanukkah, which means “dedication” in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of Kislev on the Hebrew calendar and usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.



  1. In continuing our open mic, I wanted to recognize Hanukkah and offend/annoy Matt, who said:

    Further, for the 151st time, I am not advocating for using laws to stop anyone from putting up lights, playing Christmas music, or wearing gaudy Santa-sweaters. I am asking them only to be MORE CONSIDERATE. That is all. No outside force, law, requirement or other… just “could you please stop wishing me a celebration of a religion I don’t practice? It’s annoying. Thanks.”

    And let me add to that Matt,

    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    We wish you a Merry Christmas
    And a Happy New Year!

    Suggest we start this page with religious/political, but it’s still open mic, so feel free.

  2. DisposableCarbonUnit says:

    Just for Mathius…..


    care of Seinfeld.

  3. Judy Sabatini says:

    Happy Hanukkah Matt & to all those of the Jewish Faith here, & Merry Christmas & Happy New Year as well.

    Matt, also I understand there’s congratulations to you & your lovely wife as well in expecting a new baby is on the way. My best wishes to you & your wife, so happy for you both.

    Take Care

  4. Salvation Army Troop Withdrawal
    By Tom Thurlow

    A funny thing happened on my way to shop at Target yesterday: there was no Salvation Army guy with the little red kettle collecting money! What gives?

    At the front door of our local Target store, just as the shopper enters the store, is a sign that pledges “distraction-free shopping” — and then the shopper gets all the distraction he would ever want. Seems a bit contradictory, but this has been Target’s policy for a few years, and I am only now noticing. For once, I want more distraction, at least at the front door. It’s Christmastime, you know.

    In fact, Target isn’t alone. Some CVS stores, Best Buy, Home Depot, and some Giant Food stores have recently banned or limited the Salvation Army kettles.

    The latest controversy has to do with gay and lesbian issues. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community is calling for a boycott of donations to the Salvation Army kettles. What was once a few voices here and there is now a chorus in the LGBT community to boycott. Because the Salvation Army is really a hybrid Christian church/community outreach/disaster relief organization, it won’t hire people for its staff unless they are practicing Christians, and that excludes sexually active gays and lesbians. And despite the position on hiring, Salvation Army does not dole out relief on the basis of faith or sexual orientation.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/salvation_army_troop_withdrawal.html#ixzz1hBgucuQP

  5. US regains top spot as world’s most charitable nation
    Rick Moran

    After finishing 5th last year, the US has once again reclaimed 1st place as the world’s most charitable nation.


    Despite the gloomy economic situation, the United States has become the world’s most generous nation, according to this year’s Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index.

    Ireland is ranked second followed by Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. Charities Aid Foundation used Gallup’s Worldview Poll to look at three behaviors: “giving money, volunteering time and helping a stranger.”

    The U.S. came out on top after being ranked fifth last year.

    “Overall the World Giving Index demonstrates that the world has become a more charitable place over the last 12 months – with a 2 percent increase in the global population ‘helping a stranger’ and a 1% increase in people volunteering,” CAF said in its press release.

    The Washington Post, reporting on the survey, shows that wealth and charity don’t necessarily go together. Of the world’s top 20 wealthiest nations, only 5 made it into the top 20 most charitable.

    And who is bringing up the rear as least charitable nations?

    China, Russia, and India.

    this is the full article.

  6. History of Hanukkah

    The events that inspired the Hanukkah holiday took place during a particularly turbulent phase of Jewish history. Around 200 B.C., Judea—also known as the Land of Israel—came under the control of Antiochus III, the Seleucid king of Syria, who allowed the Jews who lived there to continue practicing their religion. His son, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, proved less benevolent: Ancient sources recount that he outlawed the Jewish religion and ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. In 168 B.C., his soldiers descended upon Jerusalem, massacring thousands of people and desecrating the city’s holy Second Temple by erecting an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs within its sacred walls.


    Can’t help but find this interesting, the king of Syria in 200 B.C. ordered the Jews to worship Greek gods. That would meant the Palestinians living there also worshiped Greek gods. But they were Judeaians, because the land was known as Judea……

    • Mathius™ says:

      That’s only half the story though..

      Matathias (no relation) Maccabee led the revolt, fighting for religious freedom for the Jews until he died.

      But he did die.

      And then Judas Maccabee took over. And he was, well, somewhat crazy.

      Judas, in addition to killing anyone who opposed him, was a religious fanatic who killed as many (or more) Jews as non-Jews. In fact, as one lovely story goes, he laid siege to a Jewish settlement which had begun to Hellenize (adopt the Greek religion) – his terms for releasing the siege were that every man in the community must undergo a circumcision. The town agreed, and while all the men were recovering from the painful surgery (remember, adults and no anesthetics), the Maccabees attacked and slaughtered everyone.

      When Antioch capitulated and allowed the Jews to practice their own religion, Judas could have closed up shop with a job sort-of well done, but instead, he stuck around and terrorized the Jews into a strict observance of an ancient form (ancient even then) Talmudic law.

      As I said elsewhere, the Maccabees under Judas were the Taliban of the 2nd century BC – freedom fighters turned religious zealots turned arbiters of an enforced fundamentalist religious law, only instead of Russians, they had Greeks, and instead of Islam, they had Judaism, and instead or Sharia Law they had Talmudic Law, and instead of AK47s they had slings and arrows. But both groups spent a lot of time living in caves.

      So, everybody, let’s light a candle tonight in their honor!

      • “So, everybody, let’s light a candle tonight in their honor!”

        Hold it, have I failed to offend you? Damn, will try a different approach.

        • Washington Post book critic Ron Charles reviewed three skeptical-to-scandalous books about God and religion on Wednesday, under the inaccurate headline “Three works of divine comedy.” Charles included one targeting teenagers called “There Is No Dog,” which he said was for “the younger heretic-in-training.” The book hasn’t even come out yet, but what better time to review it than days before Christmas?

          “This sex comedy for teens imagines God as a horny guy named Bob who sends the world into meteorological catastrophes every time he gets the hots for another co-ed,” writes Charles. Luckily for author Meg Rosoff, “The novel has already been banned by a few schools in England, which, let’s face it, is a publicity godsend.” So is a review in the heretic-loving Washington Post. Charles has some reviewer nits to pick, but thinks this book is just fine for high-schoolers with a taste for goofy sexual content:

          Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tim-graham/2011/12/21/wapo-features-sex-comedy-novel-teens-god-horny-guy-named-bob#ixzz1hCA7LglR

    • LOI,

      Yep, just like Palestine and Palestinians…. go figure!

      • The more you look at religion, the more confused you become. Ought to become a Druid, just for the optional nudity. Get the right ladies in the choir and your pews would always be full….

  7. Drunken Santas Terrorized Lower Manhattan During SantaCon, Locals Say
    December 20, 2011 1:35pm | By Julie Shapiro, DNAinfo

    SOUTH STREET SEAPORT — Thousands of drunken Santas terrorized Lower Manhattan when they flooded into the neighborhood for SantaCon earlier this month, openly flouting public drinking and urination laws, locals say.

    Angry residents attended Community Board 1’s Monday night meeting to complain about the latest incarnation of the annual pub crawl, whose participants have been allowed to grow more rowdy every year, they say.

    “There was public urination, people vomiting all over the place, open containers and no police,” said John Fratta, chairman of the Seaport/Civic Center Committee which plans to send an angry missive to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and the 1st Precinct complaining about the lack of enforcement during SantaCon.

    Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20111220/downtown/drunken-santas-terrorized-lower-manhattan-during-santacon-locals-say#ixzz1hBqB9VRj

  8. I never did get all this whining by Athiests, apparently they have nothing better to do with their time. Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends and Merry Christmas to all my Christmas friends. To all others Happy Holidays, Happy Winter Solstice or what ever makes you the least offended.

    With that out of the way 🙂

    Anita, You should always question what you may not see or understand. I’m sure that their could be arguments on both sides of the NDAA talk, but what matters most is that they know that we are PAYING ATTENTION to what they are doing. Peace! Truce too! 🙂

    • JAC, I’ve given up all trust in our government, a longtime ago. They are corrupt to the core!

    • I am stressed out that my fishing pole is 45 miles from me, but then again I’m not eating anything coming out of the Detroit River either! Truce G! 🙂

  9. 8)

  10. The Back Pew (from Judy)

    A pastor’s wife was expecting a baby, so he stood before the congregation
    and asked for a raise. After much discussion, they passed a rule that

    whenever the pastor’s family expanded; so would his paycheck.

    After 6 children, this started to get expensive and the congregation
    decided to hold another meeting to discuss the pastor’s expanding salary.
    A great deal of yelling and inner bickering ensued, as to how much the
    pastor’s additional children were costing the church, and how much more it
    could potentially cost. After listening to them for about an hour, the pastor rose from his chair and spoke, “Children are a gift from God, and we will take as many gifts as He gives us.”

    Silence fell over the congregation. In the back pew, a little old lady
    struggled to stand, and finally said in her frail voice, “Rain is also a
    gift from God, but when we get too much of it, we wear rubbers.”

    The entire congregation said, “Amen.

    Gotta love those senior citizens!

  11. To all SUFA friends:

    I will check in when possible. The border will be hopping more than normal due to the holidays….will be out chasing bad guys. Have a wonderful holiday season….

  12. Syrian forces killed 111 people ahead of the start of a mission to monitor President Bashar al-Assad’s implementation of an Arab League peace plan, activists said on Wednesday, and France branded the killings an “unprecedented massacre.”

    Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 111 civilians and activists were killed in addition to over 100 casualties among army deserters in Idlib province, turning Tuesday into the “bloodiest day of the Syrian revolution.”

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2011/12/111_dead_in_syrias_largest_one_day_bloodletting_to_date.html#ixzz1hCJJ8Xtz

    And I wonder how much of this is because of religion? How much is politics? Those in power have a history of using religion to justify their actions, but the same can be said about those wanting to take power….

  13. Giving the Grinch a run for his money this year, an attorney — acting on behalf of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and local atheist complainant Douglas Marshall — has sent a letter to the mayor of Warren, Mich., threatening legal action against the city unless the mayor allows an “equal time” anti-religion sign next to a nativity scene in the city hall lobby.

    The reason? Marshall is offended by the expression of faith in the public square.

    “If a person wants to express their beliefs in their homes, in their church, they are more than welcome to,” Marshall told Detriot’s Fox 2 But in the public square, which I’m paying for with my taxes, there shouldn’t be belief systems.”

    The “equal time” sign Marshall wants to place next to the Christmas nativity scene asserts that religion is no more than superstition.

    “At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell,” the front of the sign reads. “There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

    The back of the sign says, “STATE/CHURCH: Keep Them Separate.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/21/atheist-group-threatens-to-sue-if-city-fails-to-put-up-an-anti-religion-sign/#ixzz1hD0ycTIW

    • Buck the Wala says:

      So whats the problem? I can’t think of a single reason why he should be excluded from placing his sign there.

      • Buck, you damned lawyers are the problem.LOL You asked for that one. I think 1st amend, they must give equal treatment and provide a space, same fee’s, if any. I do not think they must place it next to the nativity scene, as demanded. The Mayor would have leeway on where to place it in the atrium. And by the way the attorney is wording his letter, I suspect he will sue unless it is placed next to the religious themed scene. This is a deliberate act intended to offend any with religious beliefs who view the displays. And some lawyers love such cases, able to run up the legal bills of defending each and every action. It only cost $50 to file a suit? Makes me long for looser pays type law.
        the lawyers letter….

        In a letter to Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, attorney Danielle Hessell wrote that the city’s failure to allow for equal time constitutes a violation of Marshall’s civil rights and pointedly requested that Fouts respond to Marshall’s concerns and allow for the sign to go up on Wednesday under threat of litigation.

        “Of course any delay in determination by your office of my clients’ request will prevent their proposed seasonal display from being placed in proximity to the nativity scene the city has permitted to be displayed in a prominent location in the atrium of the Warren Civic Center,” Hessell wrote on Tuesday in a letter to Fouts. “Therefore, any further delay in a response from your office will constitute a denial of my clients’ constitutional rights.”

  14. “We’re not able to say to our Jewish friends what we’d like to say,” he continues, moving in front of a picture of a menorah on a laptop screen, “and we’re not able to say what I’ve said all my life, since a child,” he says as two aides walk behind him holding signs that say “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah.”

    “But, you know, as I think about what the guidance is that I’ve been given, and try to reconcile that with some very important documents,” Rigell says, standing in front of a framed copy of the Constitution, “I find myself coming to this conclusion: That it’s good and proper and right and constitutional for me to look into the camera and say … Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, and wonderful and sincere holiday greetings from all of us.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/21/congressman-mocks-pc-police-in-web-parody-video/#ixzz1hD1sDbFN

  15. 😐

  16. Mathius,

    I’ve heard your complaint. Therefore I wish you a……………..Happy Sunday.

    • Plainly,
      Therefore I wish you a……………..Happy Sunday.

      Sunday is a function of the 7 day week.

      Specifically, the 7 day week is a Judeo-Christian artifact stemming from the creation story (on the 7th day he rested), such that, to peg the day or rest as a constant, they made a standard week 7 days.

      The name Sunday was derived from the pagan tradition of worshiping a given god on a given day, specifically Sunday was for worship of.. the Sun.

      I reject your Judeo-Christian week. I reject your pagan sun-worship.

      I am offended!

      • lol……..Mathius, you must be one frustrated and offended person then. Happiness will forever elude you I guess.

        I have tried to help all I can. I’m afraid you’re on your own now.

  17. So there it is … apparently the conservative libertarian is a racist and homophobe … Ron Paul … could it be his legion isn’t far behind?

    I mean, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck …

    Happy Festivus for the rest of us …

  18. The next step the Umayyads took to make Jerusalem holy to Islam relates to a passage in the Quran (17:1) that describes Muhammad’s Night Journey to heaven: “Glory to He who took His servant by night from the Sacred Mosque to the furthest mosque [al masjidi al aqsa].”

    Pipes explains that when this Koranic passage was first revealed, in about 621, a place called the “Sacred Mosque” already existed in Mecca. “In contrast,” he goes on, “the ‘furthest mosque’ was a turn of phrase, not a place. Some early Muslims understood it as metaphorical or as a place in heaven.”

    In other words, the line about the furthest mosque in the Koran is just a figure of speech. This means that there is no basis for associating the furthest mosque — the Koranic location of the start of Muhammad’s Night Journey — with the city of Jerusalem.

    In 715, Pipes writes, the Umayyads did something very clever. To build up the prestige of their domain, they built a second mosque in Jerusalem, again on the Temple Mount, and named this one the “Furthest Mosque” (i.e., al-masjidi al-aqsa), the exact same name written in the holy Koran. And in so doing, the Umayyads forced the city of Jerusalem to assume a role in the life of the prophet Muhammad — a role which it never had. This is how the Muslim belief in the holiness of Jerusalem, which persists to this day, originated.

    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/12/on_the_holiness_of_jerusalem_in_judaism_and_in_islam.html#ixzz1hGzvw9Me

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    I noticed the renewed abortion debate on the previous page, and just thought I would make the following comment here:

    In isolation, without the help, support, and love of others, no human being is “viable” REGARDLESS OF AGE. So, if you are one of those people who says, “viability works for me”, try being viable yourself in TOTAL ISOLATION where you do not rely on anyone else FOR ANYTHING AT ALL. Let’s see just how viable you are under those circumstances!

    Now, some of you may be tricked into thinking that I just used a “greater good” or “it takes a village” type of argument there… but I didn’t, right BF?


    Regardless of the incorrect date, incorporation of pagan symbols, etc. etc. for me, Christmas is a celebration of new life, and you don’t have to be Christian (or even religious at all) to realize that new life is a thing worthy of celebration.

    Speaking of which, I haven’t congratulated Mathius and Emelius yet! Congratulations, and I wish you and your family health and joy 🙂

    • In isolation, without the help, support, and love of others, no human being is “viable” REGARDLESS OF AGE. So, if you are one of those people who says, “viability works for me”, try being viable yourself in TOTAL ISOLATION where you do not rely on anyone else FOR ANYTHING AT ALL. Let’s see just how viable you are under those circumstances!

      Now, some of you may be tricked into thinking that I just used a “greater good” or “it takes a village” type of argument there… but I didn’t, right BF?

      Actually, you did … mankind if your business. Stop appealing to BF. He can’t help you.

      You’re exposed … just another redski … welcome home, human!

  20. “This is where terrorism starts, in the education system.” Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, told Fox News. Al-Ahmed, a Saudi national, said the textbooks, made and paid for by the Saudi government, were smuggled out of the kingdom through confidential sources.

    In a textbook for 10th-graders, printed for the 2010-2011 academic year, al-Ahmed said teenagers are taught barbaric practices. “They show students how to cut (the) hand and the feet of a thief,” he said. In another textbook, for ninth-graders, the students are taught the annihilation of the Jewish people is imperative. One text reads in part: “The hour (of judgment) will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. … There is a Jew behind me come and kill him.”

    According to the textbook translations provided to Fox News, women are described as weak and irresponsible. And al-Ahmed said the textbooks call for homosexuals to be put to death “because they pose a danger at society, as the Saudi school books teaches.”

    Al-Ahmed say the textbooks are both a Saudi and an American problem. “If you teach six million children in these important years of their lives, if you install that in their brain, no wonder we have so many Saudi suicide bombers.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/12/21/extremist-teachings-remain-in-saudi-textbooks-despite-kingdoms-claims-reform/?test=latestnews#ixzz1hHmqT050

  21. Ah yes…it is winter. ( inches on the ground and the storm to continue for another four to five hours say the weather prognosticators.

    Merry………..white, powdery stuff! 🙂

  22. No Ron Paul takers this fine day?

    Is that acceptance of his prior racist and homophobic newsletters or denial?

    • Can take or leave him. I think he’s about 98% correct on the economy. If you have a beef with any “racist and homophobic” remarks or views he’s expressed, bring them forward or post a link. I’m at work and don’t have time to do your homework.

    • I am voting for Ron Paul.

      There you go. Make you happy?

    • Charlie,

      Is that acceptance of his prior racist and homophobic newsletters or denial?

      Paul addressed this multiple times including thru the MSM ….

      He did not write the newsletter.

      He is not interested in bothering with it, since it -on its own- is ridiculous.

      He is not going to waste his time in having to say something is ridiculous when it is already self-evident it is ridiculous.

      He is not going to waste his time in having to vet every article, comment, description or dialogue around him to whether or not if conforms to his ideas.

      End of story.

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Sorry BF, but that just doesn’t cut it.

        These were a series of articles written over the years under his name. Fine, I accept that he didn’t write them. But he didn’t know about the content at the time? He has no interest in exposing who was writing these under his name? How this came to pass? Come on now!

        • Buck,

          It was 22 years ago.

          It is irrelevant if he knows who or who not.

          He has no interest in the topic at all, and they were not written under his name.

        • (sigh)

          The magazine article largely matched a similar report in The New Republic in 2008, and it was written by the same author, James Kirchick. The passages were plucked from a variety of newsletters that Mr. Paul’s consulting business published during his years out of Congress, all of them featuring his name: Ron Paul Political Report, Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, Ron Paul Survival Report and Ron Paul Investment Letter.

          Mr. Paul did not respond to an interview request, but repudiated the writings in 2008. Likening himself to a major news publisher, he said he did not vet every article that was featured in his newsletters. “I absolutely, honestly do not know who wrote those things,” Mr. Paul said in an interview on CNN at the time, adding that he did not monitor the publications closely because he was busy with a medical practice and “speeches around the country.”

          Mr. Paul, who is a physician, had said his political persuasion as a libertarian precluded him from harboring such biased views because “I don’t see people in collective groups.”

      • End of story?

        Ha, this is the start of it, my friend. I had no idea Ron Paul was remotely associated with that kind of vile racism/homophobia … I look at him VERY differently now. Did he disavow it 20 years ago? Is there proof he did?

        Walking away from dealing with it ends the story in your eyes … that’s about it. His supporters, like those of Joe Paterno (on another issue), can form ranks all they want. Until this is dealt with, he has (in the immortal words of Ricky Riccardo), “some ‘splainin to do.”

        • Charlie

          I had no idea Ron Paul was remotely associated with that kind of vile racism/homophobia

          He isn’t, no more then you are.

          There is a difference between involved in human action – such a Paterno – vs involved in human words.

          There is limits to human action.
          There are no limits to human words.

          Mixing up your responses to these two different things makes things worse.

  23. They never do the top ten Hanukkah songs though, do they?


    Then again, that could be because there are only four Hanukkah songs and three of them are by Adam Sandler…

  24. It’s a Christmas miracle: Scientists and clergymen agree.

    Italian scientists have conducted tests on a shroud that supposedly bears the imprint of Christ’s body, commonly called the Shroud of Turin, that show it can’t be fake — and the study is being embraced by priests around the country.

    “They give a reasonable case that the shroud is authentic,” the Rev. Joseph Koterski, a Jesuit priest and philosophy professor at Fordham University, told The Daily. “The significance of this study is that they’re using new and better techniques. They’ve ruled out a number of ways in which forgery could have happened.”

    The Shroud of Turin is said to be the sheet that Christ was wrapped in after he was supposedly crucified 2,000 years ago.

    The research, conducted in laboratories in Frascati, Italy, near Rome, says that the technology available in the medieval period, when the shroud was found, couldn’t have made the marks of a man’s body, with nail wounds at his wrists and feet, on the 14-foot-long, sepia-colored cloth.

    “The double image [front and back] of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin, has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining … is impossible to obtain in a laboratory,” wrote the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development, which funded the study.

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