Jewish Student Union met Tuesday, December 7 to celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. The club met in room B236 rather than its normal station in Caf 2 to watch a few brief, culturally relevant Hanukkah clips, including a Hanukkah-themed parody of “Dynamite” and Matisyahu’s Hanukkah music video mini-epic, “Miracle on Ice.” With lyrics like, “I flip my latkes in the air sometimes” and a modern and bizarre depiction of Hanukkah’s history, both videos gave students a fresh channel to connect with some ancient ideas.
President Ezra Nathan (’11) introduced the Hanukkah, explaining the story of the ancient candelabra and the true underdog victory, of the Jews against the Ancient Greeks, which started the tradition.
“They wanted us to dress like them, talk like them, think like them, but us being Jews, we didn’t want to change,” said Nathan.
After warring with the superior Greek armies and having their temples plundered, the Jewish people had little hope of a victory. However, a single jug of oil that should have lighted their menorah for one day lasted eight instead, illuminating an otherwise dire situation with hope of triumph.
“With the miracle of the faith the kept going, the eight candles signify the faith they had,” said Rabbi Levi.
The club, in addition to their normal pizza, noshed on donuts, or sufganiot, a traditional Hanukkah treat.
“We eat latkes, sufganiot, things fried in oil to commemorate the miracle of the oil,” said Nathan.
Club members were also quick to relate the ancient legend to modern affairs, one club member relating the war fought against Greece and the resulting flames to the recent forest fire in Israel, which was fought by the Greeks too.
However you spell it, Hanukkah has a special impact on Jewish history and made for a lively JSU meeting.