Joseph reveals himself to his brothers
Tonight Jews begin eight days celebrating Hanukkah, or Festival of Lights, in which families light an additional Menorah candle each night for eight days to commemorate the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem following the victory of the Maccabees over an occupying empire.
The miracle of the rededication was that there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day, but it burned for eight days, which was the time required to press, prepare, and consecrate fresh olive oil.
Recently Senator Orrin Hatch wrote a new song for Hanukkah at the urging of a national correspondent for the Atlantic. The song and video can be seen at “The Eight Days of Hanukkah,” and coverage of Senator Hatch’s efforts with lots of comments can be found at the on-line Tablet Magazine. There was even a follow-up article to comment on the comments:”‘Eight Days,’ the Reactions.” Many comments were very favorable, some sarcastic and "Angered."
I found one of the comments in the Angered category particularly interesting:
“Well with friends like Orrin Hatch, who needs enemies?! Let’s just put this out there: Orrin, we are not your [expletive omitted] placeholders of the Holy Land until Jesus rises again, ok? And we don’t want your help…. This makes me want to vomit.”
—Ellenjudith commenting on ”Mormon Utah Senator Orrin Hatch Wrote a Hanukkah Song,” New York
This sentiment about being placeholders until Jesus rises again resonates with Michael Chabon’s 2007 novel The Yiddish Policemen's Union.
The Angered responder to Senator Hatch’s Hanukkah song may not realize that the Second Coming of Christ will be a solemn but also joyful reunion between Jesus and his Jewish family. The promised Messiah that ministers to his family may even quote the very words spoken by Joseph to his stricken brothers:
"Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life . . . And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance." (Genesis 45:5,7)
Meanwhile, at the Second Coming most gentiles, perhaps most especially the sanctimonious religious ones who have no concern whatsoever for Jewish welfare, will wish they’d treated the Jews better — perhaps even left them alone entirely.
Comment: For a more traditional Yiddish sound of Hanukkah check out “Oh, Chanukah, Oh, Chunkah!” sung by the TzlilV'zemer Children's Choir. Yiddish music, contrasted to Israeli, is most often characterized by its minor key. After attending Yeshiva University and studying the Holocaust at the YIVO, I find that the Yiddish minor key especially speaks to me.