Hello all, sorry about the delay in writing but I’ve been quite busy with university. So without further ado, let’s get to my theory of Jews being the first punks.
If we look at all the various cultures that Judaism has encountered throughout its history, Pagan, Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, 21st century secularism. Yet throughout it all, Jews, for the most part. resisted any changes or demands.
Unless it was Halakhah (Jewish Law) or was necessary for their survival and continuation, it was simply rejected and the tribe rolled on.
So how does this fit in with Chanukah? The Maccabees were a group of Jews, that could see that Hellenistic culture was attempting to “socially airbrush” Jewish culture out of existence.
This social airbrushing would have made sense as a war tactic, because given the fact that this was a people that had made it past so many adversaries they knew that oppression and combat alone wouldn’t have won.
Instead, they combined oppressive laws such as the forbidding of Jewish worship and keeping kosher under penalty of death, with the second option of assimilation as a Greek citizen, thus giving the Jews an ultimatum: to end 1000’s of years of practice and tradition and risking their life, in return for a relatively comfortable existence.
But, just as many Jews had done throughout the history, the Maccabees said no and rebelled against this. The reason they did this is because they knew long before the Magna Carta and long before the declaration of human rights, that the right for future generations to be different was something that couldn’t just be discarded.
So to everyone on Punk Torah I say, keep being different, be proud of being different and keep fighting to be different!
Chanukah Sameach/happy Chanukah !