The Jewish holidays of Purim, Passover, and Hanukkah are part of the “culture of death” and “victimization” that permeates Judaism and much of modern Jewish life, as noted by Idith Zertal in Israel’s Holocaust and the Politics of Nationhood (2005; pp. 1-2). … The Maccabean civil war at the root of Hanukkah started when Mattathias, a priest and father of Judah Maccabee, killed another Jew for coming “forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice” to Greek gods. According to I Maccabees 2:
When Mattathias saw it, he burned with zeal and his heart was stirred. He gave vent to righteous anger; he ran and killed him on the altar. At the same time he killed the king’s officer who was forcing them to sacrifice, and he tore down the altar.
Israel has given its Gaza assault the codename “Operation Cast Lead.” Where did this rather poetic title come from? Most people don’t know that it actually comes from a poem. Specifically, a Chanukah poem by Israel’s national poet, H.N. Bialik. The operation began on Shabbos, the sixth day of Chanukah. According to Eli Isaacson, a spokesman for the IDF, the codename comes from a line in “For Chanukah” referring to “a dreidel cast of solid lead.”
- “Hanukkah Games in Gaza” in the Palestine Chronicle
- “Why Israel Named Its Gaza War After a Hanukkah Poem” by Ethan Perlson
- “Happy Hanukkah“