My problem with the original article that someone linked to is that it sounds like the Maccabees were Religious-Zionist; if you are Haredi or Secular, celebrating Chanukah shows that there is something wrong with your belief system.

Of course history is much more nuanced. Haredim, Chabadnikim, Socialist-Zionists, Modern Orthodox, Religious-Zionists and other Jewish ideological camps all claim to be the true followers of the Maccabim, and laugh at others for not seeing how obvious it is that their ideology is the only correct viewpoint.

The beauty of Chanukah is exactly the opposite - that there is something in the story that appeals to the vast majority of Jews. Lighting Chanukah Candles is one of the most widely observed Jewish practices in both Israel and in the Diaspora. The fact that these small candles are relevant to a Hassid in Williamsburg, a secular Kibbutznik in Israel, an assimilated Jew in Virginia, or a Hesder soldier on the border with Lebanon is the true beauty of Chanukah.

To use it as an opportunity to laugh at Jews who think differently from us, undermines the whole unifying story that those small candles represent.

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The real irony is that Slifkin would have been fighting with the Hellenists, not the Maccabees.

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I'm sorry, but this is flat out ridiculous. From what we know about the Chashomnaim, they were extremist kanoim who fought against the Assyrian Greeks and the Misyavnim (Jews who embraced non-Jewish culture, otherwise known as MODOX). Not exactly a MODOX/Misyaven thing to stab and murder someone for accepting Hellenistic practices, is it? But I guess since you guys have such a limited Jewish education, it sounds like a good joke on the surface. Realistically however, the Chashmonaim were antithetical to MODOX and it was exactly what they were waging their jihad against. If you want a accurate idea of the current state of MODOX/Misyaven affairs, check this link https://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/modern-orthodoxys-moral-failure/2022/12/12/ . I can assure you that if the Chashmonaim were alive today, they would be fighting the 'modern' (pun intended) Misyavnim.

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The origin of this is a Hebrew column by Asher Wohl on Ynet. Note that the column begins with a parallel secular version (which if written this year probably would have referred to football/soccer, instead of basketball).


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Dec 18, 2022·edited Dec 18, 2022

Alternative parallel from a chiloni perspective:

Q: Abba, why do we have off from school?

A: Because the Maccabis beat the Greeks.

Q: Why were they fighting?

A: Because the Greeks tried to enforce Western Culture to replace our own Jewish Heritage.

Q: Like iphones and instagram?

A: Then it was different because they also wanted to kill us.

Q: And today they don't want to kill us?

A: They want to kill us today as well, but today we have the Israeli Army.

Q: So the Maccabis joined the army?

A: No, they learned Torah all day until it became Pikuach Nefesh, and then they picked up weapons and fought.

Q: If they didn't join the Army, how did they make a living?

A: They were Kohanim, so they got money from Trumah/Maaser to afford to learn and upkeep the Beit Hamikdash.

Q: Just like we pay taxes for yeshivot?

A: Why are you asking so many questions? You have no school today. Go play with your X-box.

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We need both. The fact of the matter is that 80% of IDF soldiers are jobniks. The yeshiva guys, if they are really learning seriously, are just another type of jobnik. Without them, the IDF could not win battles. Without the IDF, they could not learn (see Sanhedrin 49a).

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"They wanted a independent state that they could run." Hmm wonder how they would have run it. They definitely would have had the buses going on shabbos, and granted religious rights to everyone. Because thats totally what the macabees were about. Its not like this was mainly a civil war against Helenised jews right?

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Your point is that contemporary chareidim are not following the example of the Chashmonoyim in maintaining an army. I am pointing out that for many chareidim, the problem with the IDF isn't military service per se, but the grave risk that it poses to the religiosity of its members. You know better than I how wonderful, frum dati-leumi boys whose parents invested their blood, sweat, and tears in their upbringing, see them emerge from their service no longer shomer Shabbos. Isn't that a valid concern for chareidi parents? I don't think that parents of Chashmonoi conscripts had such concerns. So to compare the two is non sequitur.

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Did the Maccabee army have the same religious attrition rate that the IDF has?

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Just a test

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Personally, I thought the posting was amusing.

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"So they were Chabadniks?"

Ha Ha!!!

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הָיָה לְפָנָיו עֲשִׂיַּת מִצְוָה וְתַלְמוּד תּוֹרָה. אִם אֶפְשָׁר לַמִּצְוָה לְהֵעָשׂוֹת עַל יְדֵי אֲחֵרִים לֹא יַפְסִיק תַּלְמוּדוֹ. וְאִם לָאו יַעֲשֶׂה הַמִּצְוָה וְיַחֲזֹר לְתַלְמוּדוֹ: (ר"מ הת"ת פ"ג ה"ד)

כבר דייקו מלשון המיותר לכאורה, "וחוזר לתלמודו", שבמצוה כזו (שא"א לעשות ע"י אחרים) מפסיק מתלמודו אם אח"כ יחזור לתלמודו, ובאם שאח"כ לא יחזור אז לא יפסיק.

ולפי"ז נראה שחלוקים צבאות המכבים מצבאות העכשויים בזה, שהמכבים חזרו לתלמודם ולא העכשויים, ושעל כן חויבו המכבים להפסיק והעכשויים לא חויבו ואפילו נאסרו.

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Are you aware that the at the time of the chashmonaim NOT A SINGLE Jew's life was at risk. Yet they fought. For ruchniyos. And at Purim time, when lives were at risk, nobody fought. Instead they fasted and prayed. Why do you think that is?

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A small Judean army was able to defeat the Syrian Greeks & celebrated the victory for 8 days because they could not observe the 8 day holiday of Sukkot & Shemini Atzeret during the war. But we are suppose to celebrate the miracle of the temple candelabrum with oil that could not only last one day but lasted eight days. Thoughts??? Shabua Tob!

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This silly leitzonus (yes I know it might be tautological) cheapens you, this blog and all you stand for (including 'rationalist Judaism').

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