Alec Baldwin, SNL and Horrible Hanukkah Songs

In this clip, featuring the cast of Saturday Night Live and Alec Baldwin, SNL very clearly demonstrates how difficult it is to fit Hanukkah into a Christmas-style celebration. How so? Well, Hanukkah is actually a pretty complex holiday. Yes, the Maccabees definitely kicked their enemies butts and managed to rededicate the holy temple. However, many of those enemies were fellow assimilated Jews who chose to identify with their Hellenistic overlords. Furthermore, the Maccabees were from the priestly caste but anointed themselves as kings after their victory – a grave threat to the balance of powers and a violation of Jewish religious law. Given the violence and the law breaking, it’s no wonder that the Rabbis decided not to make the Book of Maccabees part of the Jewish canon and that they sought to emphasize the miracle of the lights rather than the Maccabean victory over the far more powerful Hellenists. So yeah, have a Happy Hanukkah for sure, but not too happy if you know what I mean…

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