Today’s Chanukah Message

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The message of Chanukah is quite a simple and obvious one, yet it is often forgotten or distorted and therefore its lesson must constantly be refreshed in our minds. Chanukah is the story of the champions of Torah-true Judaism defeating the pagan barbarian butchers of yesteryear. It celebrates our victory against the Greeks as well as the Hellenists who imitated their ways. It proved that as long as we fight our enemy with faith and trust in Hashem, and by adhering to the Torah and mitzvos, the size of our army or the type and amount of our weapons make little difference. Chanukah proved that the few can defeat the many, the weak can defeat the strong, the righteous can defeat the wicked, and the pure can defeat the impure. So long as we hold the Torah banner high, we will succeed against the mightiest enemy.

We are told that when the vast and mighty armies of Shancherev surrounded Yerushalayim, King Chizkiyahu gathered every single Jew into the shuls and schools and had them all study the Torah. The following evening a Heavenly angel came and destroyed Shancherev’s entire army. The belief that might and power alone will help us defeat our enemies is an illusion and runs contrary to the Torah’s teachings and all the lessons of Jewish history.

Today, too, we are fighting a battle against Hellenized Jews who are ashamed of our glorious heritage and have abandoned our religion, tradition, and values. The greatest danger to Israel’s survival is not Iran nor the Palestinians but rather an internal one. None can harm Jews as much as Jews can harm themselves. Israel’s very existence is dependent on our adherence to Torah law. Abrogate these laws and we lose title to its Land as the very first Rashi in Chumash states very clearly, and as anyone that has studied Taanach or Jewish history knows only too well.

Instead of blaming others for our troubles, it’s time we look inward. After all, the Palestinians can’t harm us if Hashem would not empower them. Gay parades are an abomination for which the Torah clearly spells out the consequences. Immorality is what got the Canaani thrown out of the Land. Eretz Yisroel is the Palace of the King and doesn’t tolerate any type of abomination. This is elementary and one need not be a prophet to know it! While we may not be able to do much about it, the least we must do is write letters and protest such behavior, just as we protested the horrid statements coming out of Iran.

We are unfortunately at war with our own brethren who have abandoned authentic Judaism and replaced it with modern forms of paganism. Like the Hellenized Jews of yesteryear, they are convinced that Judaism is primitive and outdated, and have begun to assimilate among the Western world in great numbers, and even want to show off their lifestyles in the streets of Yerushalayim for all to see and imitate. They have taught their children to light a Chanukah bush and fry their latkes in lard. Leading the Hellenists of today is the Israeli Left who attempt to convince our people and especially our Jewish children that the only way they will be accepted in the world is to integrate into modern surroundings and follow in the ways of the Canaani. Had the Maccabees lived nowadays, they would surely be arrested for incitement against these diviants.

We must begin our battle by bringing back the lost generations of children in Israel and the US that have been led astray and have been completely distanced from their glorious heritage and know little about Torah and mitzvos. We must help the many yeshivos as well as Shuvu and the Chinuch Atzmai schools that are working very hard to reach out to our as yet uncommitted Jewish brethren. We must do everything to reawaken them and teach them the beauty and importance of studying the Torah and keeping the mitzvos, for they are what give us the right to our Holy Land. We must make a Kiddush Hashem by our every deed and action, so that our brothers will see how a truly observant Jew conducts himself and will want to follow in our ways.

The number seven symbolizes the ordinary seven-day week cycle, while the number eight symbolizes the extraordinary miraculous ways we merit when we follow in the ways of the Torah. A Jewish child is circumcised on the eighth day, which bonds us to G-d and symbolizes the miraculous nature of our very existence.

Since time immemorial, we Jews have always known that our safety and security is directly dependent on our adherence to Torah and mitzvos, and certainly not in the “might and power of our hands.” In order for our army to succeed in destroying our enemy, we must make sure that Shabbos in not desecrated in our Holy Land, and that the streets of Yerushalayim as well as the rest of the land are pure and clean of all abominations as the Torah demands. Then we will surely merit the same miracles that our ancestors witnessed in times gone by. The few will defeat the many, the pure will win against the impure, and the weak will defeat the mighty. May it be soon in our days.