Friday, December 11, 2009

Shabbat Shalom

Photo: Crown Heights. Com 


It is not only Shabbat but also Chanukkah is starting tonight. As chassidic and kabbalistic sources would say: A double portion of Kedusha (Holiness) !

Most people think that the military victory over the Greek are the main reason to celebrate Chanukkah. However, the real purpose for us Jews celebrating the festival is reminding ourselves of how we once stuck together and fought Hellenist Jews as well as the Greek idolatry. The Greeks wanted to get rid of the Torah and assimilate the Jews. Many Jews took over Greek culture because they thought that it is "cool" and "modern". Look at many Jews today. Doesn't it remind you of something ? Hellenistic thoughts of a different kind exist until today.

The reason for celebrating Chanukkah is that we eventually fought for Torah and our Jewish identity, and we have enough reasons to stand up for those ideologies even today. Times may have changed but the challenges remained the same. The outside world wants to destroy Judaism and assimilate us. And until today, there are countless of Jews who go for that and leaving Torah. Getting married to a non - Jew and loosing the Jewish identity.

What Chanukkah and this week's Parashat Vayeshev show us is never to give up in life and always have hope for the better. Yosef had when he was sold by his brothers and so did the Jews and the Maccabim during the Greek occupation.

I am still in sunny but cold Tel Aviv and I am soon talking the bus to Jerusalem. Having a quiet Shabbat with a Synagogue service. The weather forecast for Israel is heavy rain showers and stormy cold weather. The right time taking a good book and read.

"Shabbat Shalom - Gut Schabbes and Chanukkah Sameach" to everyone !


  1. The Maccabees were not haredim!! They were not even rabbinic Jews - look at the total absence of any history of the Hasmoneans in the Talmud or any other rabbinic source. The only reason we know anything about them is because of Josephus. The only reason Hannukkah is a festival at all is because of its folkish, people power attraction.

  2. B"H

    As far as I know, the Maccabim (Mattetiyahu, Yehudah, Shimon, etc.) were COHANIM !