Sunday night was the first night of Chanukah, the holiday with as many meanings as it has spellings. Why do we celebrate? Pick one or pick all:
Instead of remembering what Judah the Maccabee did in Modi'in, they look toward Medina.
1. A successful Jewish revolt against a Syrian empire ruled by the Seleucid dynasty of Greek kings some 2,200 years ago.
2. A revolt against assimilation and the attempt to impose Hellenistic culture on ancient Judea.
3. A celebration of the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
4. Recognition of a miracle in which one day's worth of oil burnt in the menorah for eight days.
5. A civil war against those Jews who assimilated and ruled Israel without remembering that God was involved in every aspect of our lives, including governance.
It is the last point that relates so much to today's world. Israel is led by politicians who have no faith in the God who gave them the Land. They allow the Temple Mount - which used the be the "home" of God's Shekhinah ("Presence") and hopefully will be again soon - to be mutilated; in fact, they are willing to give it away. They do not protect Joseph's Tomb in Shechem or Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem. They have fallen in love with Western culture and have forgotten how easily Judaism can get assimilated into it.
Ehud Olmert, Tzipi Livni and Ehud Barak have worked hard to please their Hellenist kings, George Bush and Condoleezza Rice. Instead of remembering what Judah the Maccabee did in Modi'in, they look toward Medina. Even the Shas party, which entered the government to protect Jerusalem as Jewish, sold themselves for political power.
Israel has leaders who sneak into the side entrance to so they can negotiate with people who want to destroy them, forgetting what others have learned before:
"It is incredible what political simpletons Jews are. They shut their eyes to one of the most elementary rules of life, that you must not 'meet halfway' those who do not want to meet you." -- Ze'ev Jabotinsky, "The Iron Wall", November 4, 1923
And once again, just like all of the other times, Israel has been dumped for political expediency by the Jewish
Israel has been dumped for political expediency.
People. The American Jewish Community proved their assimilation by helping to elect a new president with anti-Israel advisers. Our American Jewish Community has fallen in love with their political connections and lost their connection with their Jewish roots.
When push comes to shove, those Jews who believe in God must stand up and fight. Just like they did over two thousand years ago. After all, Maccabee stands for, "Who is like you O Lord".
As we celebrate this Chanukah holiday, we must redouble our efforts to rally for the cause of right. And we must pray to God that he sends us a Maccabee, instead of the leaders we have now both in Israel and in the American Jewish Community.
"Not by might, not by power, but by My spirit alone...." It doesn't mean don't fight; it means don't fight without God in your heart.