Silence is golden, so say our sages. And every ethics lecture relates in one way or another to the great virtue attributed to silence. Divrei chachomim benachat nishma'im - "the words of scholars who speak softly are heard and listened to." Our greatest tzadikim (righteous men) throughout the generations put tremendous emphasis on the virtue of being able to speak softly and evenly when one is angered or has a reason to be so. S'yag l'chochma, sh'tika - the sign of wisdom is the ability to remain silent in the face of stress and tribulations.

However, there are times when silence needs to be replaced with anger. Rebuke needs to be heard and the voices of protest need to be raised. There are times when silence is not golden, but rather tarnished and useless. Keeping silent, in certain situations, gives further license to the instigator of that anger to continue in his evil ways. When an evil-doer sees the silence that surrounds him when his evil is perpetrated, it raises his adrenalin do more evil. Such silence is evil itself.

How appropriate then that during Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, one is reminded of such times when one must not keep quiet. What if the Maccabees had kept silent in the face of Greek atrocities against the Torah? What if they had 'overlooked' the forced assimilation and desecration that was rampant in the Land of Israel at that time? What if they had kept silent in order not to deepen the chasm? What if the Hasmoneans had allowed the Greek anti-Semites to proceed with impunity towards their goal of expunging Judaism and destroying the people as a nation? What if?

We all know the answer.

That time in our ancient history is being replicated again in Israel; a time that demands that silence be replaced with genuine anger. They, today's Hellenists, are doing what their forbears did so long ago - everything they can to trample the Torah, desecrate Her laws and abuse and ridicule those Jews who refuse to stray. The media in all of its forms (the written, the spoken and the visual) harangues without stop against the Torah and those who follow our holy laws. They do their best (and mostly succeed) in stifling opposition as they trample on every little bit that reminds them of Judaism. How can we stay silent? How dare we?

There are some for whom this kind of silence has become unbearable. And that kind of powerful voice in the face of evil is exemplified by Arutz Sheva and its unparalleled, dedicated staff, who refuse to keep silent in the face of all the governmental attempts to silence their voice of truth and reason. "Keep quiet, or..." The warnings are followed by harassment, confiscation of equipment and arrest of the staff. But Arutz Sheva doesn't cringe.

There are voices of anger out there, and those voices are raised loud and clear on the Arutz Sheva website. Thousands upon thousands of people hear those voices, which they themselves would like to raise, but can't.

Arutz Sheva brings to print the anger, the pain and the broken silence of those whose voices would otherwise never be heard.

It was Matisyahu, Kohen Gadol, who raised the torch that dispelled the darkness and gave us new light for generations to come. Today, Arutz Sheva, by raising aloft the torch of genuine protest, truth and anger that defies those who want Judaism eradicated, has become an integral beacon of light in the darkness of our own times.


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