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Friday, November 29, 2013

Chanukah Message for Today and All Time

Today is the second day of Chanukah 5774.

Our Jewish Holidays are celebrated to teach us lessons, timely lessons. Our Mitzvot, the G-d given Commandments don't have expiration dates. Each one is supposed to be observed by Jews forever.  G-d and Chazal, our Sages are supposed to be our experts, not United Nations officials, the American President, academics or the media.

It's very worrying that while the "gut reaction" of your typical Israeli is that there's nothing illegal in "Jewish settlements sic in the west bank sic," the minute they are reminded that the world, the United Nations considers them illegal, suddenly they do, too.
The survey, conducted by New Wave Research on behalf of Regavim, found that 60 percent of Israelis view the settlements to be legal, while only 16 percent consider them to be illegal. 24% were unsure.
When respondents were asked about the legality of settlements under international law, the results differed substantially. A slight majority of 36% said they were legal and 35% said they believed them to be illegal. 29% said they didn't know.
We are not supposed to look at international public opinion and "justice" to learn right from wrong.

Our moral and legal compass is supposed to be tuned in to G-d and Torah Judaism.

This gets to the very core of the Chanukah story.  In actuality, the element of the oil and the light is minor and even added later.  I have no doubt that the emphasis of the oil and the increasing lights of the Chanukah menorah are to give visual and kinesthetic tools to teach the story.  Unfortunately, the oil or candle-lighting ceremony has taken off in popularity and left the true message of Chanukah far behind.

The poll quoted in the Algemeiner story shows that many Israelis and Jews all over the world are actually Hellenists, assimilated. They look to non-Jewish sources for their values, opinions and morals.

1as·sim·i·late
 verb \ə-ˈsi-mə-ˌlāt\: to learn (something) so that it is fully understood and can be used
: to cause (a person or group) to become part of a different society, country, etc.
: to adopt the ways of another culture : to fully become part of a different society, country, etc.


The modern Maccabee challenge/war isn't the military one of ancient times.  It's an intellectual spiritual one. We must understand that the bedrock of our laws and morality must from Jewish sources, Jewish History and G-d.  This is a very important war, and the battles won't be easy.

Chag Urim Sameach and Shabbat Shalom

2 comments:

Shy Guy said...

Addendum:

Hanukah: Why Eight Days?

Down with Hanukah!

How (Not) to Bring the Redemption

Batya Medad said...

Thanks, Shy, I read them all. I agree more with some of Kahane's ideas than I did with him as a person. It was from something I once heard him say or was credited to him that I realized that democracy isn't Jewish.