December stories

December’s story is “Hanukkah Light.”

Though I grew up celebrating Hanukkah, I didn’t read the Books of the Maccabees, which the Hanukkah story comes from, until I was an adult. I discovered the story didn’t end–as I’d always assumed–with the triumphant defeat of enemies, and the rededication of the temple those enemies had captured, and the miracle of oil that burned for eight nights instead of one. The story goes on after the miracle is through, to a time when the Maccabee brothers are dead, and their descendants are still fighting. It ends with the knowledge that there are more battles yet to be fought and more walls yet to be built.

And I wondered how to relate this troubling tale to the joyous winter holiday I still celebrate.

Also online this week in audio format, at Pseudopod: “Virginia Woods.”

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