What happens when an ancient holiday is rebranded for modern audiences? For Israelis, Hanukkah was reinvented as a celebration of Jewish heroism, of our ability to persevere against overwhelming threats, with the Maccabean warrior as the precursor to the IDF. In contrast, in North America Hanukkah has been rebranded as a universal battle against religious suppression, with the Hanukah lights as beacons for interfaith ecumenism and religious tolerance.
In this episode Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain discuss what this dichotomy says about the two largest Jewish communities in the world. Click here for Elana’s sources from this episode.
A transcript of this episode is available here.