Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A great miracle happened here! Literally.

One of the best things about living in Israel is the month of December. No other month drives home the difference between living in exile and living in the homeland like holiday season does. No longer do I have to explain to my children that Santa is not a Rabbi in a red suit nor do my tiny simple menorah lights have to compete with the dazzling colorful light shows displayed on my neighbors’ homes. And I don’t have to bite my tongue to stop myself from singing along with “rockin around the you-know what tree” every time I go shopping. Here, the sights, smells, and sounds of Chanukah are everywhere. Even in the most unlikely places. Hyundai has a car called the “Getz.” Despite its ridiculous name (it could only be worse if it was called putz or clutz) they ran a great add. Plastered on a building in Jerusalem was a huge sign that read “Getz gadol haya poh.” “A great Getz was here.” Something about that just makes me smile. As we lit our first Chanukah candles on Friday at sundown it was one of those moments that I swelled with joy watching my family commemorate the miracle of Chanukah in the land that it occurred. I knew that the Maccabi wars had taken place in the Judean hills and I wondered to myself if the war had stretched down from Modiin (about an hour drive from here) to our area of the hills. The next day we found out from a friend who is also a tour guide, that indeed the battles had been fought on the very land we live on. In fact, the yishuv across the street called Elazar is named so for one of the Maccabi sons that perished in the battles. Here, where we live and play, those heros walked and fought. You just can’t beat that.

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