THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS…

…DRAWN DARKLY

Another year passes, another Hanukkah arrives. For those unfamiliar with the story of the festival, I explain quite a lot about it here, in last year’s post. The reason it held a particular attraction to me as a child was – apart from the delicious foods, fun rituals and of course, the presents – was that it emanated from a period of history that fascinated me from an early age. So much did the story interest me in fact, that at some point, when I was about fourteen I decided to turn it into a comic strip.

Obsessed as I was with the actual history behind the story, rather than with the traditions and alleged miracles, I was keen for the strip to be as close to the ancient reality as possible. Hence, the “evil Greek soldiers” were less evil Greek, and more, ruthless, professional Macedonian mercenaries; while my “heroic freedom-fighter” Maccabees were more, (equally) ruthless, uncompromising zealots. Moreover, although the comic never made it that deep into the narrative, I intended to portray the Hellenised Jews, as less “treacherous collaborators” and more, worldly, pragmatic rationalists (one of which I would like to think I would have been myself!).

However, as was often the case with my juvenile projects, the initial flame of enthusiasm died out before I’d really got going – in this case, after barely the first two pages.

Nevertheless, it remains fun to look at now, and had I finished it, with its austere red-to-black tonality, it might have emerged as an early example of the graphic novel.

In the meantime, I wish all my Jewish readers a very happy, healthy and peaceful Hannukah, and a very merry Christmas to everyone else!

Published by adamhalevi777

I am an artist, illustrator and author. I trained at St. Martins School of Art and exhibited regularly in the UK and abroad throughout the 1980s. My illustration highpoint was designing the cover for the UK paperback edition of the novel, Billy Bathgate. I lived in Israel in 1970 and then again from 2009 until 2012. I currently divide my time between London and southern Spain where I continue to work as an artist, as well as make Moscatel wine. My first book, King Saul – The True History of the First Messiah was published to critical acclaim in 2007. In 2014 I published my first novel - ARK (previously, The Sons of Kohath).

5 thoughts on “THE FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS…

  1. I wondered if you had a teacher or books that led you to question the traditional beliefs you were taught. But then I recalled at the age of 12 I suddenly lost all belief in my family’s religion, and I don’t think there were any outside forces, just a questioning mind.
    There have been a number of programs on our local televisions stations about the Americanizad version of Hanukah at least one of which gave a little historical background.
    I hope you had a very good holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A similar thing happened for me when I was 15, when atheism struck. I guess it was a just the fact that I was so obsessed with the history of my people (and ancient history in general) that I found all the miracles and wonders boring by comparison. That, combined with an innate cynicism about the concept of a God, and “his” questionable personality (more worthy of condemnation than worship I always thought), that the whole religious thing just struck me as incredibly silly.
      The best place to start with the Hanukkah story / history, is in Josephus’s “Histories” and then go on from there. But don’t get me wrong. I remain strongly, culturally Jewish. There’s so much more to being Jewish than the religion itself, and once conditioned into it from birth, it would be difficult to throw off entirely, even I wanted to.
      Thanks for the good wishes, although I haven’t celebrated Hanukkah – or any other Jewish festival for over twenty years.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My father, who passed when I was nine, would celebrate because it was Tuesday. I am not able to keep up with that, but I do believe in tradition and celebration for their own sake.
        Hanukkah, as I understand it to be celebrated in the U.S., is a celebration of hope. That certainly is as good a reason as any to celebrate.
        Our current community has a large population with Indian origins, and I learned this year that most – Singh, Hindu, Muslim, whatever – celebrate Dawali, a celebration of light over darkness.
        Far-left Democrat friends in D.C., both of whom were raised in Communist households, did not reconnect with their Jewish heritage until they had children. Perhaps that’s what it takes.

        Like

  2. You were a remarkable teenager to produce such a dramatic strip (both drawings and text). Just imagine what you could do now, should you want to finish it.
    Happy Hanukkah – and hope for Peace on Earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary – “he” seems like a different person from this distance, and sadly, the current version lacks “his” patience for the drawing side of it at least, although I do still tinker with the idea of a “gritty” and nuanced historical novel about Judah and the Hasmoneans – along the lines of a Robert Graves?

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Kamal's Blogging Café

English Language, Literature, Creative Writings & Decode PROXY

In Dianes Kitchen

Recipes showing step by step directions with pictures and a printable recipe card.

Seasons of Life!

Mountains and seas, and a few things in between...

The Rulebook

16 ; A writer's blog.

P e d r o L

storytelling the world

BookmarkedOne

Books, Audiobooks, Writing and Voice Acting

Ailish Sinclair

Stories and photos from Scotland

The Happiness Nerd

Discussing Paths Towards Happiness

Lean Agile Training - Certified Scrum Master Course

Certified Agile Training and Certified Scrum Master Course by Lean Agile Training - Leanagiletraining.com

Caitlin Jean Russell

Travel Tips, Photographs and Experiences

Paths Unwritten

Lost Cities. Forgotten Spaces. Curious Places.

RalieTravels

Travel and sightseeing wherever the road leads

Maxpower's Blog

Books and writing

Dining with Donald

Donald on Dining in and Out.

cartographysis

when literature and travel meet at the cul-de-sac

jo fox - adventures in art

An artist journeying deeper into art.

%d bloggers like this: