Sunday, December 25, 2011

That Beautiful Flame, The Light, There's a Price

Yesterday, Shabbat, we had a guest speaker at our weekly Women's Torah Class, השיעור נשים HaShiur Nashim, which is the longest running shiur in Shiloh.  We've just passed the thirty year milestone.  I had never met the guest before, but it ended up that she had once been the study partner of one of my daughters...

Many aspects of Chanukah were touched on; my head was very full of ideas and concepts fighting for my attention.  Towards the end she mentioned the light, the flame we admire in our chanukiyot, Chanukah Menoras.  There were be no light without the burning of the wick, the oil, the candles.

That light we admire isn't free.

Suddenly, I couldn't be quiet.  Here it is, Chanukah, the Holiday celebrating our religious and national freedom and the war, the battles for that freedom.

"The price of our freedom today is serving in the IDF, even when some of our precious soldiers, our sons, family members, neighbors, friends and more are killed?"  I asked.

Nobody could disagree.  It may be an unpleasant truth in some circles in Israel and the Jewish World, but pacifism and Leftist John Lennon "Imagine" philosophy are the recipe for end of the State of Israel and Jewish People. 

The continued existence of the Jewish People and State of Israel are dependent on our will to fight for it, including accepting the price for our loyalty and commitment. 

During Chanukah we add two prayers,   על הניסים והלל Al HaNissim and Hallel, Because of the Miracles and Praise The Lord.  Both prayers voice our thanks to G-d for all He has done for us.  G-d responds and helps when we do our bit.  Human beings were gifted with free will, so we must use our power of choice between good, evil and standing on the sidelines to protect ourselves.  When we follow G-d's commandments and fight for our rights, religion and Land, then G-d, in the original "matching funds" responds with miracles. 

Sometimes I wonder if our willingness to fight is a miracle, too...  Could it be that G-d "cheats" a bit to keep us surviving?

Chag Urim Sameach
May You Have an Enlightened Holiday

If you haven't yet listened to Reuven Genn's talk about g'vura, heroism, now's the time to hear it.


Hadassa said...

and Hanuka sameah!
Freedom rarely comes without a fight and Hanuka is an excellent example of how we should fight: if we are the "righteous" fighting the "evil" then we will succeed even if we are the "few" against the "many".
Is our willingness to fight a miracle? Being as most of us are so loathe to do so, one could say that, and we definitely would not be here if G-d didn't sometimes take pity on us for His own sake.

Batya said...

Hadassa, amen, perfectly put. thanks

MAOZ said...

Don't have the source at hand right at the moment, but IIRC Rav Meir Kahane's take on the classic question of why celebrate *8* days of Hanuka (after all the oil was naturally enough for the 1st day) was that, the sheer fact that Jews were willing to fight against the seemingly impossible odds -THAT was the first miracle!

Batya said...

Maoz, just finding kosher oil was a miracle.

Keli Ata said...

Someone hid the oil and someone (maybe the same person) found the oil. The menorah, the temple, the Torah meant a great deal to the person who hid the oil and the person who found it.

This might sound silly. I can easily buy chanukah candles online and I know there is only one store within walking distance that sells special chanukah candles.

Still I go to the other stores knowing they don't have them and finally reaching Wegmans. I enjoy the search for the candles.

Batya said...

Keli, it must be so hard for you, if even chanukah candles are hard to find.