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What Would Judah (Maccabee) Do?

We Jews have our own WWJD: What Would Judah Maccabee Do?
Judah lived at a time much like our own. A large number of Jews spent their days enjoying the pleasures of modern (for them Hellenistic) society, not really caring about the decisions being made for them by politicians and the people ‘on the Hill,’ the power elite, somewhat like today’s big business, who had bribed their way to control over the Temple Mount.
But Judah and his family were not content just to sit back and let events unfold because they knew the dangers of silence. That is why they rose up not only against their Seleucid overlords, but the politicians and big business interests who had sold out their people. They fought not only to win the freedom to observe their ancestral traditions but so that future generations could flourish. Indeed, if not for the Maccabee uprising, Judaism, and the monotheism it introduced to the world, would have been snuffed out and we would not be celebrating Hanukkah today.


Judah and his family continue to be an inspiration for religious tolerance and dedication to the faith and traditions of our ancestors.
But they are also an inspiration of another sort: for Judah and his family also teach us the importance of becoming engaged in the political process and not remaining silent when we see injustice or danger occurring.
That is why I think, if Judah were here, he would protest a little discussed provision, championed by the Republicans, hidden in the recently passed Senate energy bill that gives away the store to the nuclear energy lobby. The provision allows the Energy Department to give unlimited loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors, even those using conventional technology, and would remove congressional budgetary oversight on their funding.
There are several problems here: the bills represent a misplaced trust in nuclear plants as a “clean” or carbon-neutral alternative to coal and oil, even though the problems of containing and disposing of their radioactive waste, their vulnerability to attack, and their high costs have not been solved. Removing congressional budgetary oversight is disturbing as well, particularly because the Congressional Budget Office projected that the utilities would default on half of the loans offered in this program. What a terrible waste of taxpayer dollars which could be better spent on stimulating loans for truly safe alternative energy uses (like solar) 3and for conservation incentives.
I agree with Rabbi Waxman that we must all do our part to help conserve energy. However, I think that, if Judah Maccabee were here, he would want us to all do our part to stand up against big business and convenient expediencies and stand for solutions that are consistent with the long term well being of the Earth, so that future generations can live in freedom and peace.



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Amy Rosenberg

posted December 6, 2007 at 9:20 am


I think that a lot of the disasters that are happening to humans on the Earth today are caused by the greed of other humans. While it is true that we are giving away the store to the nuclear power lobby and have been doing so since this present administration came to power in the USA and this is a problem. We are ignoring so many horrors done to other humans by the oil rich nations of the middle east that happen to be Muslim and that is even more appaling. We talk about the starving people in Darfur and yet ignore the injustaces that are causing the refugees. This is probably because they are perpetrated by Arab Muslims against Black African Muslims. We were not silent when Pol Pot was murdering other Cambodians. We were not silent when Russians were murdering other Russians. We should understand that this inhumanity to man can not go on and be unchallenged just because we fear the Muslims and their backlash against us. If nuclear energy can help us to come to terms with this inability to discuss any wrongs done by the oil rich nations and their coreligionists, nuclear energy gets my vote.



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Billie S. Berman

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:30 pm


I believe Judah would have made it publicly known that the energy Bill had this hidden agenda in it before it was passed. If not he perhaps would have sent in some of his gorilla soldiers and agents and confiscated the the Bills containing the information and reworded the Bill on the computers just before they were printed off so that the Bill would reflect that the nuclear energy lobby will have that portion how the public demands energy and alternative energy resources such as solar power, alternative fuels, and wind power will have distrabution of funds for which the public demand shall. Hmmm! I like that!
Al Gore should have been made aware of all of the wording and perhaps presented it to his World Conference. I believe that the Republican interest groups and “Dubya” GW himself should now be called to the UN for an explanation of what is to come with this environmental hazard and how will we prevent illegal aliens from getting their hands on how to make reactors and get the materials to do so.



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Eliyahu Glazer

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:48 pm


Rabbi Grossman’s comments are illogical. The Maccabees have no relationship to the nuclear energy debate! This is absurd! Chanukah deals with religious, freedom. This is an attempt to justify political views based on religious ideas that are entirely unrelated. Since liberals apparently cannot justify their positions on logic, they have to play “What would Judah do?” when he can’t answer and wouldn’t even understand the debate. Eliyahu Glazer



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Eliyahu Glazer

posted December 7, 2007 at 3:50 pm


Rabbi Grossman’s comments are illogical. The Maccabees have no relationship to the nuclear energy debate! This is absurd! Chanukah deals with religious, freedom. This is an attempt to justify political views based on religious ideas that are entirely unrelated. Since liberals apparently cannot justify their positions on logic, they have to play “What would Judah do?” when he can’t answer and wouldn’t even understand the debate. Eliyahu Glazer



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Dave

posted December 7, 2007 at 4:36 pm


1/ In Greek mythology Zeus’ wife Hera represented the Earth as Zeus the sky, and many Jews worshipped both. Of course Judah Maccabee would have smashed both types including the Earth worshipers.
2/ Can you imagine how many fires the Maccabees must have lit just as a matter of course? Imagine the amount of firewood used to heat the metal to produce the weapons? The Maccabees didn’t care. Neither should we.
3/ There were big business interests 2000 years ago?
4/ Since the GOP is more attuned to the interest of religious Fundamentalist and since Judah Maccabee was such a fundamentalist (even to the point of killing fellow Jews who didn’t want to follow G-d-read the books of the Maccabees) its likely Judah Maccabee would have favored the GOP.



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