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21 December 2018 @ 04:57 am
Axial tilt is the reason for the season  
The sun is about to return; let us rejoice! Many years ago, some of those who celebrate the occasion falsely accused my ancestors of waging a War on Solstice when all we wanted to do was mind our own business. We kicked their ass, and we celebrate that victory as Hanukkah, but it's long past time for bygones to be bygones, so to those who celebrate Solstice, as well as to those who celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule, Newtonmas, and any other holidays I left out, and don't mind if others celebrate theirs, happy holidays.

Thanx to the late Joel Rosenberg for suggesting this line of thought.
Nehamamed_cat on December 22nd, 2018 12:00 pm (UTC)
I like this line of thought :)
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on December 22nd, 2018 09:39 pm (UTC)
"Many years ago, some of those who celebrate the occasion falsely accused my ancestors of waging a War on Solstice when all we wanted to do was mind our own business."

"While Hanukkah may well have originated as a winter solstice holiday, perhaps modeled on the ancient Roman festival called Saturnalia, this festival, like the winter festivals in Christian and other cultures, has been given a historical narrative and chronological setting. In contrast to the other major Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is not mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Rather, its origins are traced back to the era of the Maccabean revolt in the mid-second century BCE.

The traditional story—the one taught to Jewish children and popularized in songs—goes something like this: After the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, the Macedonian empire, of which Judea was a part, was split among several of his generals, referred to collectively as the Diadochi. For the next 150 years, Judea was the small ball in a game of high-stakes table tennis between the families of two of these generals: the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. In 200 BCE, when King Antiochus III of Syria defeated King Ptolemy V Epiphanes of Egypt, Judea came under Seleucid control. His successor, King Antiochus IV, violated his father's practice of allowing the Jews to "live according to their ancestral customs," which included the right to continue to worship in the Temple. Antiochus IV forbade the practice of Jewish law including circumcision, forced Jews to eat pork or be put to death, and violated the Temple by setting up statues of pagan gods. A small Jewish army—or perhaps better, guerilla force—led by Judas Maccabeus and his four brothers, fought the powerful Seleucid army and won. The Temple then had to be re-sanctified to the worship of the God of Israel. Upon entering, Judah "the Maccabee" (the hammer), who had become the leader of the revolt against Antiochus IV, found a small amount of oil that he used to kindle the menorah in the Temple. Although the amount was only enough for one day, the oil miraculously burned for eight days and nights. The festival of Hanukkah, the name of which refers to the rededication of the Temple, was instituted to celebrate the miracle of the victory, and of the oil. The practice of lighting the menorah for eight successive nights is intended to commemorate the miracle of the oil, as are the oily foods traditionally prepared for the festival (see below).

To what degree this tale corresponds to historical fact is a matter of debate. Many scholars believe that Antiochus IV interfered in Jewish religious and political life not because he was an inherently evil ruler—as he is most often portrayed in popular lore—but in order to quell a bitter struggle, and perhaps even a civil war between two Jewish factions: --the Tobiads and the Oniads, whose leaders vied for the high priesthood. Tobias, the leader of the more Hellenized group, had been exiled to Syria; there he and his supporters lobbied Antiochus IV to enter Jerusalem and reinstate Tobias as high priest. In siding with the Tobiads, Antiochus escalated the conflict to the point of all-out war, with Judah and his family championing the cause of Onias, a less Hellenized contender. The family eventually succeeded in defeating the Seleucids, a story told in 1–4 Maccabees, part of the Greek (Septuagint) additions to the Hebrew Bible."
~Oxford Biblical Studies Online, 'Focus On Hanukkah'

The late Joel C. Rosenberg was a born-again Evangelical wingnut who used to work for Rush Limbaugh.

El Coyote Gordo: coy1supergee on December 23rd, 2018 09:48 am (UTC)
The late Joel Rosenberg, a science fiction writer, was not Joel C. Rosenberg.

Elenbarathielenbarathi on December 24th, 2018 12:07 am (UTC)
Ah, okay; apologies; my mistake. But where is this "war on Solstice" stuff coming from? I find no evidence whatsoever that the Solstice had anything to do with the Seleucids' differences with Judah Maccabbee.

The whole concept of a 'war on Solstice' is ludicrous anyway, just like a 'war on low tide' would be. Unlike made-up human holidays that vanish in obscurity if humans don't keep observing them, the Winter Solstice will happen every year without fail, as long as the Earth keeps orbiting the Sun. Who can make war on that? What would be the point of trying? "Nevertheless, it moves."
El Coyote Gordo: breechessupergee on December 24th, 2018 01:29 am (UTC)
It's simply meant to parody the war on Christmas
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on December 24th, 2018 12:21 pm (UTC)
I get that, but I don't see why it's necessary to lie about the Pagans in order to do it. We suffered plenty at the hands of the Christians too, y'know, and have had plenty of lies told about our practices and beliefs, without people making up more bullshit. Let's talk about Antiochus IV's War on Circumcision, hmm?