Monday, December 12, 2011

Researching Hanukkah

Since it obviously wasn’t the case that Christmas was about presents and Hanukkah about decorations, Peep wanted to find out more about Hanukkah.  She'd learned a bit about Christmas by watching the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon with the yarn lady, so she looked at the television listings to see if there was a Hanukkah cartoon.  If there was, she couldn't find it, so she waited until the yarn lady went over to see the noisy girl and got on the computer.  She put in a search for the words "Hanukkah" and "story".   Those terms led her to a story that was really kind of interesting, but at first it didn't seem to have anything to with the holiday.  Aliens and mean humans, yes, Hanukkah, no.  But then as it got to the end, she finally found the part about the holiday.  It was a really sweet story, and the aliens didn't kill all the humans on earth because of the family celebrating Hanukkah.  Kind of like the Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon - warm and caring, but funny and with a bit of a sharp edge to it, showing what the humans shouldn't be doing.

She needed more information, though.  The site the story was on had a promising link, “Visit our Chanukah Mega-Site”, so she clicked that.  The words sounded the same, so she figured they probably were at least related. She found a couple articles that had were really hard for a little kitten to understand, but then saw a kids section, so she looked there.  This was information she could understand.  Hanukkah was a celebration for Jewish people.  That answered one question. 

She knew that humans followed different religions, although the ones she’d heard about all seemed to have the same God, one who had made the world and wanted the humans to be good to one another.   There were details about how they celebrated things that were different as far as she could tell, and some beliefs that were added or missing from certain religions.  That was kind of like the difference between the Great Cat and the Celestial Turkey. 

Now, Hanukkah was about something that happened even longer ago than the first Christmas.  Unlike the Christmas story, this one was a lot sadder.  The Jewish people had been treated badly by the Greeks (whoever they were) and when they tried to fight back the Greeks tried to kill them all.  G-d helped them to defeat the Greeks and then gave them a miracle to keep the light burning in their temple for as long as it took to make the special oil they needed.  The human Jews commemorated this to remind themselves and show others that G-d saved them.  With that information, the story about Morgenstern-the-alien made a lot more sense. 

She liked that the lighting of the menorah was to be done by the family altogether and that after lighting it and saying the prayers that the humans were supposed to sit and talk about the holiday and G-d all together.  Humans needed to spend time with each other from what she’d seen personally, read or watched on television.  It helped them think about stuff other than what was rolling around in their brains, what the yarn lady called the committee in her head. 

She knew the yarn lady wasn’t Jewish, but kind of hoped she’d light a menorah anyway.  It seemed somehow like a right thing to do.  


Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/jentastic/4189270164

The story referenced in this post, "A Long Day for Morgenstern" can be found at http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?aid=2677&jewish=A-Long-Day-For-Morgenstern.htm

2 comments:

kraftykj said...

Told you I was hooked! Had to come back and check out some more of the story line!
kraftykj swap bot

maggie. said...

Oh, I'm so curious about Hanukkah now! Going to google and read up more about it (:

mag // Gain Blog Readers and Comments