Whatever else you say, you’ve got to give us some props for the degree of difficulty of this one. The Hannukah story of Hannah and her sons is violent and tragic. In one version of the tale, after her first six sons are slaughtered, Hannah tells her youngest and last surviving son that when he meets Abraham he should inform the patriarch that she had performed a scarifice even greater than his.

We didn’t know much about Judaism and martyrs, and still don’t. But we now remember that Judiasm, the civil rights movement, the American revolution and darn near everything else worth struggling for has its martyrs.

In our fantasies, maybe we’d respond to a existential challenge the way Hannah did. Then again, the great taste of ham is also from G-d.

But if there is a special section for martyrs in olam haba (the world to come), Hannah should be queen of it.

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