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The Hellenists of Today

By Tzvi Fishman
12/28/2008, 12:00 AM

While many people consider the leftists in Israel the Hellenists of today, the term more fittingly describes the Jews of the Diaspora who have the ability to move to Israel, but prefer to maintain their allegiance to the foreign country and foreign culture where they live. This is exactly what a Hellenist is – as Webster’s Dictionary states: “a person living in Hellenist times who was Greek in language, outlook and way of life, but was not Greek in ancestry, like a Hellenist Jew,” or an American Jew, or English Jew, or Australian Jew of today. Ask any Israeli leftist what his identity is, and he will answer, an Israeli, or a Jew. Ask a Jew from the Diaspora what his identity is, and he will answer, an American, or a Frenchman.

Even the Hanukah dreidel makes this distinction clear.  In the Diaspora, a kid spinning the dreidel understands that “A great miracle happened THERE.” In Israel, and not in Paris, Melbourne or New York.  He realizes that the real Jewish place is Israel. That’s where Jewish history happened, and that’s where it is unfolding today. Spinning the dreidel in the Diaspora is class B Judaism, like the minor leagues, or listening to the World Series on the radio instead of being at the ballpark – or better yet, being a player in the game.

Like listening to the World Series on the radio

Hanukah and Purim are both holidays established by the Sages, but we only recite the joyous Hallel prayer on Hanukah. Why? Because, even though the Jews were saved on Purim, it was only a partial salvation since they were still living under the Persians in a foreign land. In contrast, the salvation of Hanukah, and its joy, were complete, for the victory led to renewed Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel.  Only in israel can there be true Jewish joy. 

How joyous it is to see the Hanukah lights exploded over Gaza! “We thank Thee for the miracles, for the redemption, for the mighty deeds and triumphs, and for the battles which Thou didst perform for our fathers in those days, AT THIS TIME.”

And who is dropping the bombs over Gaza? The Israeli leftists! Miracle of miracles! How wonderful is G-d in all of his works!

Happy Hanukah!