Monday, December 14, 2009

Cultural Practices (cont).

Great piece at Slate on the dark side of the festival of lights.  I just thought it was a celebration of fire and a chance for kids to practice their pyromania in safety--and compete with Santa.  But no, there is more to it:
For it turns out that Hanukkah is a festival built upon a mound of suppressed memories and censored texts, a putative celebration of light that in fact commemorates a Jewish civil war.

Today, the Maccabean memory has been resurrected in the modern state of Israel in the image of Jew as warrior, and Hanukkah is celebrated by many as a military holiday, the vestige of an ancient Independence Day. But I propose that on Hanukkah, we ought to consider whether an ethnic group that wishes to survive must turn itself into a nation-state.
A question as relevant for Quebec as it is for the Jews?

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