The True Miracle of Chanukah

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Written by Oxartes. Oxartes is a 50 year-old modern-orthodox Israeli who writes erotica as a hobby. ‘Writing is my escape, my therapy,’ he says. For more Jewrotica writing by Oxartes, check out Babylon Nights, Vashti and the Leprechaun, Samson Agonistes Redux, Reading the Signs, and Doña Levy and the Day of the Dead.

Rated R

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(Jerusalem, 11th of Kislev, 164 BCE)

Miriam lay on the cot and cried. “I’m a fucking mule,” she sobbed, “HEE-HAW! HEE-HAW!

Daniel, her husband, sat next to her and tried to console her but to no avail.

“It’ll take a miracle for me to get pregnant. Face it,” she said, turning to face him, “You married a dud. I’m as barren as a rock.”

“Please don’t talk like that,” he said, wiping her tears. “I love you and I want to be with you always.”

“Thank you,” she sniffed, “but beside the point.” Miriam sat up abruptly. “Oh God, I’m sorry. That was an awful thing to say.”

“It’s alright,” Daniel replied, taking her in his arms and rocking with her. “‘A woman of valor, who can find?’,” he sang softly, “‘Her price is far above rubies’.”

Miriam smiled.”You have such a beautiful voice.”

“Move over,” Daniel whispered.

Miriam was about to slide over to make room for him when the staccato notes of a ram’s horn pierced the air.

“What the…we’re supposed to be off-duty for another hour,” Daniel said, reflexively grabbing his sword and shield. “Um…”

“Go.”

Daniel bolted out of their tent and ran towards the Temple along with other men in his unit, Levites all, who had also pitched their tents nearby.

#

“False alarm!” Judah Maccabee reassured the troops. “A couple of Seleucid hoplites who had hidden in one of the underground caverns came out and wanted to surrender, that’s all. They’re being interrogated now.” He looked at the beeswax hour candle. “Well, since you’re all here, let’s get to work. Move it.”

Daniel stowed his weapons, took a hammer and chisel and set about the seemingly endless work of cleaning and repairing the sacred precincts prior to the much-anticipated re-dedication. He and his cousin Kenaz went back to the side chamber where they had been working before going off-duty. They talked as they worked.

“How’s Miriam?”

“In a state.”

“Damn.”

“Yeah. She says it’ll take a miracle for us to have a baby. I’m starting to believe her.”

Later, near the end of their shift, when they had just about cleared the chamber, Daniel noticed a stone panel on the floor that looked different than the others. He chiseled around it and called Kenaz to help him shift the surprisingly heavy block.

The cousins peered into the space in the floor.

“Looks like…jars of…the holy oil,” Daniel said, reaching in to pull them out. “Hmm, the High Priestly seals are intact. Go tell Judah or one of his brothers!”

“Right,” Kenaz replied, running off.

Daniel knew that the desecration of the Temple had been quite thorough, that the pagan Seleucids and their Hellenist Jewish lackeys had systematically polluted it and its sacred vessels. He heard that undefiled oil might be at a premium. He knew that Judah and his brothers were intent on rededicating the Temple by the 25th of Kislev, the anniversary of its initial desecration. But Miriam was so miserable; she would love a massage and rub-down. He slipped one of the small jars into his tunic.

#

Their watch over, Daniel and Kenaz went back to their respective tents. Miriam was on their cot, under a sheepskin, sound asleep.

After warming the clay jar by the brazier, Daniel sat down next to his wife and pulled back the blanket.

“Hey,” Miriam mumbled.

“Shh.” He broke the seal and poured some of the warm oil on Miriam’s back. Humming softly, he rubbed it into her shoulders, loosening her muscles and soothing her joints.

“Mmm, that’s wonderful,” she moaned, “You are marvelous.” Her tensions and worries seemed to flow out of her as he moved down to the small of her back.

Daniel poured oil onto Miriam’s ass, which he adored, running his hands over and between each soft, rounded cheek.

“Ohhh, you’re making me horny. What is that stuff?”

Daniel cupped and kneaded her ass, brushing a finger toward her sex, massaging…

Miriam reared up and knelt. “Quick, I need you, now!”

Daniel yanked off his loin cloth, climbed onto the cot behind Miriam, grabbed her hips and plunged inside her. They bucked and rocked, gasping and moaning, crying out as they came together, before falling asleep, side by side, in each other’s arms.

#

Daniel, Kenaz and the other Levites stood at attention in the Temple courtyard as Judah prepared to relight the giant gold menorah. They watched the priests pass a jar up to Judah; Daniel recognized it as the one of the jars he and Kenaz had found.

“Where’s the rest of the oil?” Daniel whispered.

“There isn’t any,” Kenaz replied, “We didn’t find any more.”

“You mean that’s it?”

“Yep.”

“But it’ll take eight days to have new oil pressed; that little jar won’t last!”

Kenaz nodded. “We’ll need a miracle.”

#

(Jerusalem, 25th of Kislev, 163 BCE)

The High Priest lit the giant gold candelabra and turned to address the assembled throngs. “Our Sages have ordained that, henceforth, lamps shall be kindled and Psalms of praise shall be sung, for eight days, starting on the 25th of Kislev, every year, in gratitude to Almighty God for the miracle that He wrought for us, through a jar of oil, one year ago!”

The people roared their approval.

Daniel, resplendent in his new white tunic, on the special dais for the Levite choir, looked out over the Court of Women.

Miriam, cradling three-month old Noa, looked up at him and beamed.

“Levites!” the High Priest declared, “If you please!”

Daniel cleared his throat and sang.

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