Friday, December 7, 2007


A channukia a la Achbar Ha-Ir (City Mouse) , the what's on and arts guide, synthesizing the festival of lights with the festival of lighting up (click for detail).

The candles on the 8 branched channukiya (or menorah as it's called outside Israel) are lit consecutively throughout the Channuka holiday. Since Channuka more or less coincides with Xmas, this extra illumination offers some compensation for the fun we are missing. Then there's the "channuka bush" - but we won't go there.

That Temple oil that miraculously kept burning for 8 days, continues, every Channuka, to lubricate a small industry in Israel. Gourmet sufganniyot (traditional Channuka doughnuts) have invaded every cafe and condiotoria. Tens of thousands of kids flock to the annual Festigal childrens show , compered by the stars of the kids' TV stations. This year, the high school, students, shut out of school for over 40 days by a teachers' strike will have to spend another holiday week aimlessly prowling the shopping malls before getting back to studies.

Dusk sky from the rooftop.

Illumination has apparently also found its way to the combined intelligence services of the United States whose report on Iran's (non?) nuclear programme begs the question (as Ha'aretz put it ) "Why did George Bush threaten a third world war when, in the corridors of his administration, a reassuring picture with respect to Iran was taking shape?" Didn't anyone want to tell him, or was he just not listening? And if they are right and Iran is not developing nuclear weaponry, where does that leave Israel's argument that we're all on the edge of destruction?

Meanwhile, in a less violent recreation of the glorious Channuka victory, Maccabi (Tel Aviv) beat (Greek) Aris Thessaoniki (85:70) in the first round of the Euroleague last night

chag sameach

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