Thursday, December 17, 2009

#1128 Hanukkah, Decoy scheme, Transgender Act Fails, Stall, Christmas Plans

Show 1128 Thursday 17 December
Watch today's show at YouTube or BlipTV.

Hi I'm Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today we’re studying a video about Hanukkah.
If you’re from North America you will have heard of Hanukkah – and maybe you know a lot about it.

But it’s not something you hear a lot about in New Zealand and I don’t know much about it, so I found this video interesting.

It’s about the history of this festival or holiday. And it’s an animation for kids, so the language is aimed at kids. And I have no idea about how accurate the history is … but it’s interesting anyway.

The story in this video involves a game called Dreidel which you play with a special spinning top.

The boy talks about playing this game when the Greeks invaded Israel. He says the Greeks would go on house raids to find Jewish stuff that they didn’t like. And he says they had a decoy scheme.

Do you know what a decoy is?

a thing or a person that is used to trick sb into doing what you want them to do; going where you want them to go, etc.

This was their decoy scheme:

We would wait outside and play games and when the Greek soldiers came by, we just took our time explaining the rules. Everyone inside would hear stalling, so they had time to hide everything.


Kia ora, in Stick News today, a man in Japan pretended to be transgender in an attempt to avoid getting in trouble for driving without a licence.

Last week a 31-year-old man went for a drive.
He was stopped at a police checkpoint but he couldn’t produce his licence.
Police said despite appearing like an ordinary man he tried to speak and act like a woman and claimed he was woman.
Police suspected he was lying and took him to the police station where an hour later he confessed that he was a man.
The man had lost his licence two years previously and was using his wife’s name to try and get away with driving without a licence.

And that was Stick News for Thursday the 17th of December. Kia ora.

Word of the Day

Today’s word is stall.
Here are a couple of definitions for stall:

to try to avoid doing sth or answering a question so that you have more time
to make sb wait so that you have more time to do sth

The stalling the boy talks about in the video is when would slowly explain the rules of the spinning top game to the Greeks, so that the people inside the house would have time to hide stuff.

And an example from a video we studied a couple of weeks ago. The police officer was talking to a guy who they thought was the guy they were looking for, but they needed to wait until this other police officer came so they could confirm it was actually him and arrest him. So to stall him, the police officer said lots of random things like: Always blow on the pie.

conversations with sarah
#717 That’s early!

Step 1: Read Bob's lines.
Step 2: Repeat Bob's lines and talk to Sarah.

Bob What are your plans for Christmas?

Sarah Well, we’ve already had our family Christmas celebration actually.

Bob That’s early!

Sarah Yeah, well, my aunty and uncle and cousin were going away for Christmas, so we had it early before they left.

Bob So what are you doing on Christmas day?

Sarah Going down to Taupo actually – someone invited me to spend Christmas Day down there, so …

Bob Are you from there?

Sarah No, I’m not. I, ah, grew up the Coromandel – but some of the whanau moved down to Taupo a while back.


I was the Dreidel spinning champion of the universe. Of course, we didn’t call it Dreidel back then.
No one in ? could beat me. My spinny little toy landed on Gimel every time!
I didn’t think anyone alive could touch my game. Until the Greeks showed up. Nobody knew they were coming. At first I thought the Greeks were just after me. But soon it was clear - they were out to take over the whole city - the whole country! We were cool with them doing their things, but they wanted us to change and fit in. So, they started destroying everything that was different.
The Greek’s rules didn’t sound so harsh. Forget about worshiping only one God. Don’t do anything Jewish. But it was pretty scary. Anyone caught praying could get beaten. Wearing something Jewish – you might get thrown into jail. You could disappear forever, just because you refused to eat pork. And the weirdest part? Some of our neighbours went along with it. They started dressing like the Greeks, playing Greek sports and worshiping idols and hanging out at the wrestling matches.

Most people went along with the new rules, even though they weren’t happy about it. A few people did exactly what they did before, only they did it in secret. And then there were the people who wanted to fight. As for me, there was too much drama going on. I just wanted to play Dreidel. But we couldn’t even do that in peace. Every time I sat down, the Greek’s would hassle me. They wanted to know if it was some sort of secret Jewish ritual or magical way to talk to God or … mystical kung jew. Of course it wasn’t any of that. At least, at first it wasn’t.

The Greeks would go on house raids, searching for toras or shebat candles or other stuff they didn’t like. So, here was our decoy scheme. We would wait outside and play games and when the Greek soldiers came by, we just took our time explaining the rules.
If it lands on gimel you get all the coins. If it’s hei you get half. If it lands on nun you get nothing. And if it lands on shin, you have to put one in.
Everyone inside would hear stalling, so they had time to hide everything. Now that’s what I call mystical kung jew.

The Greek army spread throughout the country. They reached the temple in Jerusalem, which they trashed of course. In secret, we studied and we trained. Even though it seemed like everyone thought the Greeks were the coolest thing since sliced lodkas only a few people actually thought that. Most of us were faking, some of us were hiding. And when we were ready, we stopped hiding.
A war was fought, and lots of people died. And despite the odds, miraculously, we actually won. We took back our towns and our country and our way of life.

We hitched up to Jerusalem, to the temple. It was wrecked. Our holy temple, it was completely polluted and trashed! But we all helped clean it up. It looked pretty good again, until somebody pointed out – the menorah! It wasn’t lit anymore. This lamp was supposed to burn 24/7. Making the oil took a long time. And it had to be super pure 200% holy temple certified olive oil. And the whole supply was wrecked. And somehow, I’m not saying that I did it, but I’m not saying that I didn’t … we found one jar that wasn’t broken. And that wasn’t even the biggest miracle. Cool, sure, we found a jar of oil, but those jars usually only lasted for a day. And this one? It burned for eight days and nights. That was long enough that we had time to brew up a whole new batch to keep the fire burning forever. Throughout hundreds of years, thousands of prayers in the temple. And about a mazillion dreidal rolls. Make that a mazzillion and one.



show start
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: Future Cha Cha
from: Brooklyn, NY, United States
artist site

cws start
artist: Kevin MacLeod
track: The Jazz Woman
from: Brooklyn, NY, United States
artist site

qa start
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack2
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

qa bgm
artist: ioeo
album: triptracks
track: triptrack1
from: Saint Raphael, France
album at Jamendo
artist at Jamendo
artist site

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