“The oil lasting for eight days was no miracle,” said Zelda. “Back then, people didn’t live under Joe Biden’s gas prices.”
Photo by Sharon Roth
As the holiday season approaches, Jewish communities have been disproportionately impacted by nationwide oil shortages. Many members of the La Jolla Jewish community have complained extensively about the impacts on their local businesses in anticipation of Chanukah, which one resident, Keren Moth, described as “the most fried-food-filled day of the year.” Moth elaborated in an interview, saying, “My uncle’s deli was destined to be filled sky-chai with fun foods starting November 29th this year! Pickled maccabeets, dreideli meats, hanu-candied treats, bagels, and most importantly, latkes.” Moth continued listing foods, with what many described as a wistful look on her face.
The oil shortage also has implications for the holiday itself. According to a statement released by the La Jolla City Council, the holiday will be officially shortened to seven days. Legislators cited the oil crisis as a primary reason for shortening the holiday this year. Chana Zelda, one local grandmother, protested the change. “I can’t even make sufganiyot for all 613 of my great-grandchildren this year. Stop taking our holidays from us! You barely acknowledge Hanukkah, and sure, it’s a minor holiday, and sure, it’s mostly to give the kids presents. But that makes it even more insulting that you wish me Happy Chanukah on December 25th, three weeks after the Hanukkah is over. It’s a disgrace.”
The local Chabad rabbi, Matisyahu, and his five sons, Yehudah, Shimon, Yochanan, Yonasan, and Elazar, railed against the oil shortage at their weekly Shabbat dinner. “This Hanukkah, the government thinks they can stifle us because of a so-called lack of oil. What do those bureaucrats know? This government has more branches than a menorah!” Matisyahu and his family rallied the San Diegan Jewish community to use less oil in the hopes of restoring the last day of Chanukah. He said in an interview, “I never drive on Shabbat, so why drive at all? Walking everywhere conserves oil. Keep the liquid in the ground, Hanukkah is safe and sound!”
Maoz Tzur, the owner of the local deli, also kvetched to reporters about the change. “You mean to tell me I have to cancel my plans for the eighth night? Do I buy a new menorah? What next, they destroy the Western Wall again?” Tzur’s deli had to change their menu once he got wind of the oil shortage. “I mean, we don’t have enough oil for latkes, so we had to start making littlekes instead. They’re exactly the same, just smaller and full of Jewish rage. Only $1.80, you want one?” said Tzur as he held out a plate to reporters, with a desperate look in his eyes. “Please support my business. I’m begging you.”
Some members of the Jewish community have decided to embrace this change to the holiday by incorporating the use of clean energy to “promote a green holiday.” Rabbi Matisyahu has introduced a new menorah with seven wind turbines and a large fan as the shamash, stating “This new invention will revolutionize the Chanukah industry. Who needs the miracle of lasting oil, when renewable energy lasts forever?”
Kaz Nuckowski is a Copy Editor for the Muir Quarterly. They are usually found in Half Dome laughing and encouraging students to share their wit or giving their own suggestions to make everyone else laugh. Never doubt Kaz and their skills because they will surprise you, especially when the spread has a comic open and they are feeling inspired!