Courtesy of Rabbi Daniel Brenner
ON STAGE: DR D, APPLE SAUCE, and LATKE
DR D: Hi, I’m Dr. Dreidel and I’m here with my friends Latkes and apple sauce to tell you all about the Maccabees.
APPLE SAUCE: I thought we were going to talk about the Hannukah story.
DR D: The Hannukah story is the story of the Macabees, Apple Sauce.
LATKES: Don’t you know the Maccabees?
APPLE SAUCE: I know bumble bees and spelling bees. What is a Maccabee?
LATKES: Guys with beards and swords I think. And elephants. No, wait, the other side had the elephants.
Dr D: That’s right. The Syrian army had Elephants. And they marched into Jerusalem and stole things and destroyed things and pushed people around. They went into the holy temple and threw stinky pig’s blood on the floor.
APPLE SAUCE: Why did they do that?
LATKES: Yeah, that’s disgusting!
DR D: They were not nice men.
APPLE SAUCE: They were bullies.
LATKES: Really mean bullies.
APPLE SAUCE: Really mean bullies with elephants.
DR D: Mean bullies with elephants who forced people to pray to big statues. It was not a good time for the Jews of Jerusalem.
APPLE SAUCE: I would have been very angry.
DR D: Judah Maccabee was angry. He was a leader of the Jewish people. He had sons, the Maccabee brothers. They hid in the caves and then they decided to fight back against the Syrian army.
APPLE SAUCE: Did they win?
DR D: Yes, but one of them was crushed by an elephant.
LATKES: Let’s not mention that part of the story because it makes me sad.
DR D: O.K. – forget that part. The Maccabee brothers fought the Syrians. They chased the Syrians back to Syria. Then they cleaned up the pig’s blood. They found the beautiful menorah.
LATKES: But they only had a little bit of oil.
DR D: That’s right – A really little bit.
APPLE SAUCE: So they made donuts!
DR D: No, Apple Sauce, they didn’t make donuts.
APPLE SAUCE: They made latkes!
LATKES: No, Apple Sauce, they lit the menorah, the holy lights. But they only had enough oil for one night.
DR D: But then the miracle happened!
APPLE SAUCE: You mean they did make donuts?
LATKES: No – the oil lasted all eight nights! The rabbis thought it was a miracle, a sign that God would help them. They saw that even at the darkest time of the year, God would provide them with holy light.
APPLE SAUCE: I’m confused. When do they eat the donuts?
DR D: Look, Apple Sauce, Donuts are made with oil. Latkes are made with oil. We eat oily foods to remind us of the olive oil of the Maccabees. That’s how we celebrate Hannukah.
LATKES: It all sounds soooooooo delicious.
APPLE SAUCE: But when do we eat the matzah?
DR D: And so ends our little Hannukah shpiel! Chag Urim Sameiach – Happy Holiday of Lights!
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