Some of you have requested Chanuka stories. I am not one to deny my readers, so here you go.
My husband, as I have mentioned, is a rebbe in an MO yeshiva that has limmudei kodesh in the morning and limmudei chol in the afternoon. He gives shiur in the morning and also teaches a couple of sections of Jewish history in the afternoon. Tenth grade, so up to the second temple.
Got that? Good.
So, candlelighting in our house: after a mad scramble for wicks and those metal thingies, and where are the matches, we light. Barak gets a number of M & Ms ("Two M's! More two M's please!) corresponding to the number of days of Chanuka we're on. One the first night, two the second, etc. He also got a little present each night--a little car or something like that. We sing Ma Oz Tzur.
Then my husband sits Barak on his lap and tells him about the meaning of Chanuka.
"Okay, so, Barak, let me tell you about Chanuka. Chanuka is not about the Greeks versus the Jews. No. Chanuka, it's about the dangers of assimilation. It's about Hellenization, and--well, let's take a step back. So, Alexander dies, and he's succeeded by--well, actually, it depends on whom you ask, how many generals. It depends on which history book you look at. He's succeeded by his Diadochi, by Ptolemy, and Seleucus, they're the most important, and also Lysimachus, and also Cassander, and... one of them gets Macedonia, but... okay, never mind that. Let's talk about Antiochus. It's Antiochus the Fourth, and before him Seleucis the Fourth, but he's not so important. Do you know about the Hasmoneans? Okay, so, the Hasmonean dynasty and the Seleucids..."
"More Ms please!"
"No, that's enough. The Seleucids...."
"Issa forklift! Heavy loads!"
"The Seleucids, they weren't very nice, okay?"
"Vrooom.... heavy loads! Backing up! Beep beep!"
Maybe next year.