America’s corrosive obsession with scarcity

Earlier this month, my family and I celebrated Hanukkah, which commemorates the victory of one side in a complex civil war and the restoration of the Jerusalem Temple in the war’s aftermath. But the focus of the celebration — pushed heavily by the early rabbis who wanted to mute the nationalistic and sectarian sides of the holiday — is on a minor-sounding miracle. When they set out to rededicate the Temple, the Maccabees found only enough oil for one day, but they needed at least a week to make more oil. Miraculously, the small supply lasted for eight days, and the Temple could be rededicated successfully.



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