Monday, November 11, 2013

Rehab for Antiochus (Channukah I)

Raphaela has shown a consistent tendency to see the best in people, and to try to rehabilitate the reputation of the less than positive figures she encounters. 

For example, the Wolf (from children's opera Peter and the Wolf) started as the enemy, the eater of the duck and evolved into a household pet.  During the period of her obsession with this show, her wolf doll went everywhere with her and was the focus of all her imaginary play.  The Wolf had emotional needs for hugs and kisses, which she happily provided.

Now we have a new candidate for her Social Services:  Antiochus the Ancient Greek king who destroyed the Temple in the time of the Chanukah story, the holiday we Jews will celebrate in about two weeks time.  They have started teaching the song and symbols of Chanukah at Gan, partially in preparation for the parents' party, and I have heard much about Antiochus, how he wanted everyone to do what he did, how he put a "stupid idol" in the Jewish Temple, and how he focused on outer banalities like beauty rather than morality and devotion to G-d.  (Yes, this is what my four year old learns at Gan...)

And yet, I think Raphaela feels badly for him in some way, that he has such a terrible role as the baddie of the Chanukah story; so Antiochus has begun to join us at playtime and at the dinner table, and when he behaves nicely, I am informed by my daughter that "Antiochus deserves a cookie."

I love and admire the loving acceptance that Raphaela shows to others, both real and imaginary, and I hope that life does not disappoint her when reality sets in, that not everyone can be saved.

Just wait until I have to tell her the real story behind Thanksgiving.

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