Sunday, November 29, 2009

For This They Have Money? or Chanukah in Our Time!

I wonder who's going to be hired to be Ehud Barak's building inspectors.  Just like Arik Sharon planned the destruction of Jewish Gush Katif for Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av, the Hellenist Ehud Barak is going against Jewish Life in Judea and Samaria as a sick, perverse Chanuka celebration.

Yes, davka Chanuka, the Jewish holiday celebrated by Jews all over the world.  How do most  of them celebrate it?  They may light a Chanukiya, special nine candle menorah.  They may even eat some oily food, like potato latkes (pancakes.)  They probably just give and receive presents in what has become the Jewish version of xmas giving.

What is the real Chanuka story all about?  Why are we celebrating this holiday in the middle of the winter?  Chanuka is actually the easiest of all Jewish Holidays.  There aren't any restrictions.  We can cook, eat, drive, play musical instruments, watch a movie.  There are fewer mitzvot, requirements/commandments than Purim.

For eight nights, as the moon is waning, getting smaller, we're required to light candles anytime from sunset throughout the evening and night.  Each night we light one more candle, so the lights get brighter and brighter in our doorways or window sills.  We must place these candles in a place where passerbys will see them.  We must be proud of our Judaism.

Torah/G-d loyal Jews were battling two fronts.  One was against the Greeks who were ruling the HolyLand and had made laws forbidding the practice of Judaism.  Our other enemy, actually the most dangerous, were the Helenists, the Jews who tried to be more Greek than the Greeks.  They took the side of the Greeks against Judaism.

There was a fierce battle for the our Beit HaMikdash, Holy Temple.  Everything was destroyed.

The pro-Jewish Jews led by Judah the Macabee defeated the Greeks but were almost in despair, because it seemed certain that there wasn't any pure oil which was necessary to resume worship in the Beit HaMikdash.  When a small vial was found, it seemed like a mockery.  The quantity wasn't enough to last until more would be fit.  But with great faith, it was lit and lasted long enough. That's why the holiday lasts eight days.  Each day the miracle got stronger, more amazing.

Logic was against us.  We didn't have the people and arms to fight the strong well-equipped Greeks, but we were victorious!  And then we didn't have enough pure oil, but G-d continued to bless us with miracles.

Yes, it takes faith and action on our part.  And yes, we'll keep building and fighting today's Greeks and today's Helenists!  And we certainly will be victorious!!

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