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Trying to commemorate Chanukkah, President Joe Biden called the eight-day Jewish festival “undeniably American.”
As Project 21 member Marie Fischer points out in a commentary syndicated by InsideSources, Biden’s comparison of Jewish resistance over 2,000 years ago to America’s founding left out uncomfortable similarities to today’s political environment.
“If Biden understood the history of how Chanukkah came to be,” Marie writes, “his choice of words might be more guarded.”
In her commentary, Marie – an Orthodox Jew – explains aspects of the joyous celebration along with its more somber origins. She describes how Syrian ruler Antiochus IV burdened the Jews with Roman taxes and heretical decrees seeking to “destroy all Jewish tradition and rules.”
“Thousands of Jews who opposed these rules were punished – to the extent of being put to death,” she notes. And some Jews gave in under the oppression. But many fought back, reclaimed the Temple and miraculously kept the menorah there lit for eight days despite having only one day’s supply of oil.
“So what does all this have to do with Biden,” Marie asks rhetorically, “and why should he be nervous?” She remarks:
For many of us in the Jewish community, the original precept of Chanukkah has taken on a new and deeper meaning. Many of us are watching as a large number of Americans, including Jews, are forced to submit to mandates or face consequences ranging from not being able to eat in restaurants or go to the store – to the point of losing one’s livelihood.
We are watching as government agencies intimidate parents who want more control over their children’s education. We watched last year as retailers and casinos were allowed to reopen while schools and houses of worship remained closed or limited. We are watching as our government slowly chips away at Americans’ individualism.
As for the implication for the Biden Administration, she continues:
[T]his administration needs to take heed of the same spirit and dedication to freedom, especially freedom of worship and freedom of the individual, arising under similar circumstances.
No one rational calls for insurrection. But the foundations of a political realignment are obvious. November showed the pushback is real.
And the supply of oil is running low!
“We all know those who do not truly study history – and try to erase it – are bound to repeat it,” Marie concludes. “This is an undeniably American Chanukkah lesson.”
Marie’s Chanukkah commentary has so far been published in places including the Delaware Valley Journal, Prescott eNews and Baltimore Jewish Life.
To read her commentary at the InsideSources website, click here.
InsideSources syndicates to almost 300 newspapers nationwide with a readership of over 25 million people.
Author: David Almasi