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The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere

{Reposted from the SATIRIC website, PreOccupied Territories}

Boston, December 15 – A Massachusetts silversmith admitted chagrin today following an incident last night in which he misinterpreted a Jewish festival ritual as a signal that he must warn fellow patriots of the route, destination, and purpose of an incoming British body of troops.


Paul Revere, 41, of this seaside colonial city, acknowledged this morning that he caught sight of Chabad of Boston’s candelabrum from his window Thursday evening and mistook the flames for a prearranged sign from a lookout that Redcoats had begun boarding vessels to take them up part of the Mystic River, as opposed to route that followed only roads. Only this morning did Revere discover he had erred, and that the two flames he espied came not from the North Church overlooking the harbor, but the Chabad House menorah and the two candles that Jews kindle on the first night of Hanukkah – one to mark the first night and the other as an auxiliary flame.

“Oops,” he muttered. “Awkward.”

Chabad House Rabbi Mendel Kahan chuckled at the confusion his ritual had sparked. “Wouldn’t be the first time people have confused some Lubavitch activities with Christian institutions,” he observed with a wry smile, referring to a prominent sect of the movement that maintains the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, that last leader of the movement, who died in 1994, is the Jewish Messiah.

Colonist espionage efforts include an elaborate messaging system to alert inland strongholds of impending British military action, in this case a move against a significant stockpile of militia weapons and ammunition at the town of Concord, and including an effort to apprehend separatist leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock. The candlelight signal – “one if by land, two if by sea,” i.e. the river – is designed to set off a chain of couriers to sound the alarm throughout the Massachusetts colony, summoning thousands of volunteers to grab their muskets and converge on the anticipated battle sites. A chagrined Revere confessed to reporters Thursday morning that his reaction was unjustified and careless, and that he vowed to apply a better sense of topography and geography henceforth.

“I also hope I didn’t prickle any British Army regular intelligence antennae,” he allowed with a sheepish grin. “If the wrong people become aware of this alert system we have in place, a few well-placed roadblocks could foil the whole operation. I could get arrested and interrogated, and that might compromise everything I’ve worked for.”


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