December 13, 2017 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Reuters photo



Don Krieger



On this first night of Chanukah, which also marks the death in Israel of the revered Haredi rabbi, Aharon Leib Shteinman, I comment on “the holy temple” which is so prominent in this holiday.

At the end of a war whose particulars hardly matter, the temple was sacked leaving only one day’s oil to keep the “eternal” light burning.

It required eight days to prepare more oil and miraculously, the one day’s oil continued to burn for eight days.

This is the origin of the holiday and its symbol, the menorah, a candelabra with a sentinel light surrounded by eight branches.


The temple was built by King Solomon to fulfill the desire of his father, King David.

David conceived of it out of guilt that the scrolls of the Torah, God’s law, were held in a tent in the dust while he lay in splendor with his women in a palace.


Apparently it didn’t matter that the scrolls were held in a tent because that was what God commanded.


Nor has it mattered to anyone else for 2,500 years including those who are willing to kill each other to preserve the temple’s last standing wall or the women who think they are making progress when they force the rabbis to allow them to pray at the wall.


Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t care one way or the other but for the consequences.

The simple madness and taint of it is so firmly entrenched in rabbinic/talmudic Judaism that it is indoctrinated into nearly everyone that this is the way it should be.


The entrenched corruption of Judaism and more importantly, of the Jewish people, breaks my Jewish heart.


I struggle with this every time I’m approached as I walk into the grocery store by a young Lubavitch acolyte who asks me to allow him to tie tefillin on me, every time I’m sitting at the Passover table and the door is left open for Elijah, every time a smart professional Jewish woman stays home on Shabbos to care for the kids and cook while the men are off to the shul “learning” because “women are more spiritual than men,” every time a rabbi dies or has the yearly yahrtzeit and tens of thousands flock to his grave to ask for his blessings.





Don Krieger

I have built satellites, worked in the operating room, been in a cult, …

I earn my living as part of a group which is trying to understand and treat head injury.

In my poetry and short blog pieces, I want to express ideas with unambiguous clarity and intensity.

I willingly sacrifice rhyme and meter, art, cleverness, elegance, and beauty for these.

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