My favorite student sweater this week said “Happy Llamakka,” and of course featured a picture of a Jewish llama. I don’t recall any llamas in the Talmud’s discussion of the festival of lights, but there is a camel that lights the city on fire.
Here’s the scene: a camel laden high with straw is led through the narrow streets of a city. Some of the straw pokes into a window, where there’s a lamp, the straw catches fire, and the camel carries it down the street, torching everything in its path. This is the Jewish answer to Godzilla—or perhaps to Joe Camel, the infamous cartoon character used to entice kids to start smoking. Who is responsible for the damage done by this dangerous camel? Continue reading