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Thursday, December 9, 2010

The trouble with Hannukah

Okay. I'm wading in.

Deep water this. Make people mad. Oh well.

It's got to be said.

The problem with Hannukah is that it mixes up G-d and war. As in "G-d is on our side."

The glorious glow of candlelight last night softened the space I was in, both figuratively and literally. It's all about the lights, no? It's all about the miracle, right?

Only enough is enough. The oil lasted. Lovely lesson. Miracles happen. Good to be startled with that reminder.

But it's the happening in a war part that stops me up.

We humans have been dragging G-d into our wars since forever. "He's on our side." "She favors us." We have gods fighting each other. We jump in to defend ours. We fight with each other about G-d. Or about power and call it god. We kill for god. I don't think G-d is grateful for our efforts.

So, I need to say this. G-d is not on anybody's side.

G-d is on the side of: no war. The G-d of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, at any rate, says, "no war."

The lights were beautiful. The time feels a bit magical. I like the lesson.

But not the G-d part. Frankly, I like Hannukah better when we leave G-d out of it.

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