Jewish date: 2 Ṭeveth 5771 (Parashath Vayyiggash).
Today’s holidays: Day 8 of Ḥanukkah (Judaism), Bl. Juan Diego (Roman Catholicism), The Martyrdom of St. Kenny (Church of the Subgenius).
Topic 1: I have had more opportunities to go out searching for Ḥanukkah-based advertising. Given enough looking, I did find some vendors on ’Aḥuzah Street in Ra‘ananah, Israel, trying to get into the Ḥanukkah spirit. First, the previously mentioned Megamind poster:
Note the complete lack of Ḥanukkah imagery. The only connection to Ḥanukkah is that is when it is in theaters. The blue guy clearly has nothing on the Grinch.
There were also a few restaurants where menoroth were lit.
The complete lack of any Ḥanukkah theme in either restaurant gave the impression that these menoroth were lit in fulfillment of the commandment of lighting the menorah, not as an advertising ploy.
There were some menoroth placed in windows that did look more like advertising ploys.
What makes me think these menoroth are advertising ploys is that they were never lit and thus did not fulfill the actual purpose of the menorah. The first three are clearly meant to be artistic, the first residing in an art shop and the next two in a flower shop. (And no, I have no idea what the Seven Dwarves are doing there.) The last menorah resides in a hair-styling shop. In no case was there any attempt at a general Ḥanukkah theme or anything over the top.
This is the biggest, boldest advertising I found for any Ḥanukkah events, and only the bottom two occur on Ḥanukkah. Unless you read Hebrew, you would never know this. Note the complete lack of sparkle and flair.
Conclusion: Commercialization of Ḥanukkah has not occurred here in Ra‘ananah. Let’s pray it stays that way.
Also: The point of the menorah is to spread the message of the victory of the Maccabees and the triumph of Judaism over the ancient Greek religion. Thus I must note this menorah put up by Ḥabbadh/the Lubavitchers:
Yes, that is on the top of a multistory building. And big enough to be seen easily from the ground. (Though not the easiest menorah to photograph.) Now that’s publicity.
Topic 2: “Egyptian Shark Attack: Jews Not Jaws?”. This report deals with probably the silliest anti-Semitism in a long time: the claim that Mosadh is behind recent shark attacks in the Red Sea. And, no, I cannot make up something like this. And I would like to note that if Israel had the technology to control the behavior of sharks, they probably would not waste it on causing shark attacks on random swimmers, but use it to cause animal attacks on terrorists instead.
Topic 3: To conclude, I would like to note this virally spreading Ḥanukkah video by Yeshiva University’s Maccabeats: “Candlelight”:
(Thank you, Mom, for noting this one.) The emphasis in this song is excellent. This is not a song about dancing and food. And it is not about the miracle of the oil; this miracle is really minor, for if it had not occurred, Ḥanukkah would still be worth celebrating. The emphasis is on the victory and Torah study, right where the emphasis of the holiday belongs.
Peace and happy Ḥanukkah.