The Best Motto

Gd, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannon change
Courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

You woke up this morning - Congratulations! You got another chance!

Thursday, December 07, 2023



Chanukah is a wonderful holiday, literally full of light (and delicious fried foods) - and we all love to celebrate it!  But what we keep forgetting is that on Chanukah we celebrate the victory in the bloody, bitter civil war!  Not just a war and a victory over the foreign enemies (although that too) - but a civil war and a victory over other Jews!  You see, the majority of Jews at that time decided to abandon the dictates of their outmoded, strange, arcane religion - and instead they followed the most progressive ideas at the time and became Hellenists.  

As it usually happens, the people who decided not to follow the modern, hip, progressive trends, and instead clung to their outmoded religion, could not just be left in peace - oh, no!  They had to be declared the enemies of the state, persecuted, arrested, tortured, killed. Eventually, the rebellion broke out - a small group of Jews fighting for their spiritual independence against the most powerful army at the time - and against the Jews steeped in “progress”.  Beating all odds - and with the help from The One Above, the rebels won; they won their right to be true to who they were, to practice Judaism once again, and to rededicate the Holy Temple.

Unfortunately, that won’t be last time when a large number of Jews would decide to abandon their religion, their heritage, and their true calling, and follow some other “great modern idea”. Personally, I always have in front of me the wonderful example of the former USSR - the great step-mama country of my family.  Now, Russia was never known as a bastion of human rights - but the glorious Bolshevik/socialist/communist revolution really made it hell on earth; and, unfortunately, a large number of Jews who, again, decided to follow the clarion call of these new great ideas, played a major role in the revolution, and the events that followed.  

The consequences for the religious Jews and the Jewish community in general were truly devastating - not only did the religious observance become nearly impossible; not only did the adherence to Judaism bring severe consequences - (people were imprisoned for simply teaching Hebrew, or possessing any kind of Judaic books), but Jews themselves eventually became second class citizens - and, again, only a miracle from above in the face of Stalin’s death in 1953 saved the Jewish community from potential mass extermination. 

In light of this, I always felt that Chanukah has a special meaning for the Jews from the former USSR, and that every religious celebration is not only a very happy occasion, but a chance to basically flip a nice bird at the commies and tell them: See?!! Not only did we survive, not only did we remain Jews, but we are proud of it!  And our children, our biggest blessings and our victory dance - they grow up to be proud Jews as well, learning again all about our strange and outdated religion!

The other thing about our holidays is that not only do we commemorate a specific occasion, but we get a chance to experience it ourselves again and again.  Every Chanukah we get a chance to re-dedicate our little inner Temple, our soul, to the true meaning of being a Jew.  And, unfortunately, as I said before, we always have large swaths of Jews who abandon Judaism, and instead follow the latest crazy, excuse me, progressive idea.  

Right now, we have huge numbers of our brethren who are infected with the disease of the Leftism; not only do they deny the beauty of Judaism, but they actually defend every single one of our sworn enemies!

The miracles of Chanukah showed us that we are never alone in our battles - but we have to have the faith to begin them!  Maccabees started the rebellion against all odds - and they were granted victory!  There was not enough oil to rededicate the Temple and to light the Menorah - they did it anyway, and the oil lasted till more was available!  The Heavenly Father is always with us, but we have to do our part!  And we owe it to the Maccabees, to all our ancestors who suffered and who fought for the right to remain Jews; we owe it to our children; and we owe it ourselves - to always remain true to ourselves, our heritage, and our true calling; to fight against all the moronic and deadly ideas that keep infecting our brethren!  Rabbi Sacks, of blessed memory, once said: “Chanukah candles are the light Judaism brings to the outside world; when we are unafraid to announce our identity in public, live by our principles, and fight, if necessary, for our freedom…..”  So, pick up that sword, pick up the bow and arrows, light the tiny bit of oil - and The Heavenly Father will help you in your fight!  

Chanukah Sameach, everyone!  Don’t forget to enjoy the delicious fried food! 

1 comment:

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