With my love of holidays, and holiday imagery, it's taken me far too long to include celebrating Hanukkah on the site. Although I'm not Jewish, I love, and have featured many Jewish men, and I love the themes of rededication and the visuals, especially the menorah and the eight night celebration of lights.
I have wanted, and even started Hanukkah in the past. I always came to a road block when searching for images to include When it comes to Christmas, a simple search for 'sexy Santas' is all you need. Almost every model, at one time or another, has put on a Santa hat for a photo shoot or selfie. Searching google for 'Hanukkah hunks' didn't exactly bring up the same number of results.
Searching for sexy, naked men is usually a fun task, but finding just the right images for Hanukkah was harder than I expected. Of course there are thousands of hot Jewish male models and men, but they don't always pop up when searching. Google responded to my request with mostly images of famous Jewish actors and celebrities. A more refined search however, did lead me to a sites and calendars from Nice Jewish Guys to more Naughty Jewish Boys.
Neither the Nice or the Naughty Jewish Boys were porn sites, but G and PG rated calendar projects. While I liked that Jewish men were getting a spotlight, I wasn't sure about the images. Some were certainly sexy and fun, but most of the images were also depicting religious and cultural stereotypes and I wasn't sure whether they were just harmless and fun, or verging on the offensive.
I decided then to go back to the FH basics, simply looking for a great looking model to help celebrate the day. My only requirement, in addition to being Jewish of course, was that the images were hot. Culture representations, but not cultural stereotypes. Check out Perseus, my choice of model (and images) to honor the day in the post below.
As soon as Wes from New Manhattan Studios suggested Perseus, no further seeking or searching was required. In addition to his sexy eyes, lips and incredible body, I had to learn a little more about the man with the incredibly sexy name. Although Perseus is Jewish, his name comes from Greek hero who was the son of Zeus and Danae. Perseus is a name of strength, meaning 'to destroy' symbolizing Perseus's heroism in saving Princess Andromeda by saving her from the sea monster and decapitating Medusa. I chose my favorite eight images of Perseus to celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah.
'I hate to admit to having a head full of stereotypes but I think the model’s chosen professional name had a lot to do with the mental image that I’d conjured. Despite the legendary heroic attributes associated with the name Perseus (running from Greek mythology through a number of contemporary films and stories under the title of Clash of the Titans), my mind's eye calls forth "Perseus" as a wimpish blond preppy with horn-rimmed glasses and a trust fund.'
'I’m not sure of from where in my background these associations come—perhaps a comic book character from my youth or a black-and-white movie from the 1940s—but the reality of the 19-year-old Texan that walked through the door was much closer to the heroic character of Greek mythology. "Titan" fits, and the huge guy would have been intimidating were it not for his gentle demeanor and disarming personality. And when he spoke, the source of the nickname Dragon Voice was obvious. Perseus spoke with such a sonorous basso profondo voice that looking at him you had to wonder where it originated.'
Despite his incredible look, it was Perseus' voice that led to Wes' favorite memory from the shoot. It was late when they finished shooting and everyone was hungry. We offered to take Perseus and PA Alex out for a bit. Given the late hour, they ended up at a Greek Diner in midtown Manhattan. While they waited for their meals, the conversation turned to Perseus' voice and Alex asked him if he sang. When he said yes, Wes shared the story of once having seen an amateur singer, with a smiliar deep voice, walk up to the mike in a piano bar and sing the most riveting version of Old Man River that Wes had heard, this side of Paul Robeson in Showboat.
'Perseus replied that Old Man River was one of the best songs ever written for his voice range. With that, and without prompting and without accompaniment, Perseus started singing. Old Man River is not a song that can be sung softly, it demands to be belted out at full basso profundo voice. Perseus did not hold back; he gave it his all. A couple dozen heads turned toward our table, smiling appreciatively at the impromptu A cappella performance. This being New York, at the end of the song there was a polite round of applause and our fellow diners, smiling, returned to their meals and conversations. I wasn’t quite as blasé as the others in the room. I sat there, four feet away, in awe of what had just happened. Can this guy sing!'
As I said, I've wanted to acknowledge and celebrate Hanukkah on FH for awhile, but this year it also seemed especially important. The buffoon in the White House has long use a 'war on Christmas' as one of his manipulative catch phrases. There is not, nor never was, a war on Christmas, but it sadly triggers something in some with intolerance in their essence. What some described as a 'war' was simply the desire of others to be inclusive and to consider that not everyone believes and practices the same thing. Did some take it too far, maybe, but most changes come with uneven beginnings, but they usually smooth themselves out with time.
I still say 'Merry Christmas', but those who choose to say 'Happy Holidays' are not warring over Christmas, but trying to be thoughtful to others. Of course and idiot who insults a dead veteran can't be expected to understand the concept of humanity, of caring ,of rededication, o flight.
For decades Jewish Americans were expected to remain quiet when December rolled around, to simply accept that for the next several weeks, their believes would be ignored as Santa, Frosty and The Grinch dominated the media, Christmas carols dominate the airwaves, and Christian beliefs and the Christmas holidays, were the only ones that counted.
I love Christmas, but I remember being in school and seeing my Jewish, Muslim, and agnostic classmates ignored as Christmas parties, concerts and activities were planned. Including their believes, and respecting their feelings did not constitute a war, just the opposite really. Thinking of others, especially at Christmas is not a fight, it's a beautiful, peaceful harmony to those who choose to embrace it. It does nothing to diminish the meaning of Christmas, it only accentuates the love and the true meaning of both the day and the Christian faith.