Now that Chri$tma$ is over, can we acknowledge that it's Hannukah? Or is it still Chri$tma$ until you go back to work? Or should we tell a large portion of the US population to go back where they belong if they don't want to hear "Merry Christmas"? Ain't this America?
Hannukah, for those of you who are "Americans" (i.e., Christians), celebrates two events in Jewish history: the defeat of Antiochus IV, and, according to Wikipedia, "The triumph of Jewish purists over Hellenized Jews." More spiritual Jews downplay the military origins and celebrate instead the miracle of the oils. After the Maccabees discovered that almost all of the ritual olive oil in the temple had been profaned, they found only a single container that was still sealed by the High Priest, with enough oil to keep the Menorah in the Temple lit for a single day. They used it, and miraculously, that oil burned for eight days (the time it took to have new oil pressed and made ready). That's why Hannukah lasts eight days. This year, it began on December 26th and will last until January 2.
By the way, all these events occurred around 200 B. C., which means the holiday predates the Christmas holiday, established in the 4th century A. D. That's the real reason for the season, since Jesus was most likely born in the spring.
Okay. All you "Americans" can now pull your fingers from your ears, stop saying, "I can't hear you! LALALALALALALALALALALALALALALA!" and go about your holier-than-thou business.
If "non-American" Jews are reading this, HAPPY HANNUKAH!