Friday, December 4, 2015

Northeastern Chanukah

Northeastern Chanukah

Old fast day repurposed
into eight days
and potato pancakes
for the oil that burned
as a miracle

is remade through adult eyes:
eight-branched menorah
as a light 
through winter darkness,
Jewish contribution
to one big winter festival
with Kwanzaa and Yule and
Christmas sparkling
on their own.

"Don't let the light go out,"
the song goes.
All the lights
all over the place
and people rush about
city streets,
pretending to shop
but actually breathing
in charged air
and the fun seeing others
as ridiculously wrought
as they are
and perhaps sometimes 

even happy.

*Syrian Greek mercenaries were called in to relieve tensions between secular and religious Jews. Something went wrong, and they started to kill all of the Jews. The religious Maccabees rallied Jews who agreed to fight under their banner, and reluctantly, secular Jews, as well. They did defeat the Syrian Greek mercenary army. However, the Maccabees then became tyrants when they ruled.

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