Enjoy, and share with friends and family! Happy Chanuka!
The situation was impossible. The odds were next to none. The most powerful army in the world against a rag tag bunch of Jewish rebels who’d never held a weapon in their lives. And yet, they felt they had no other choice. They had to take a stand.
They won the war — because G-d was fighting their battles. In Haneiros Hallalu that we sing while lighting the Chanuka menorah, we thank G-d “for the miracles and wonders, for the salvations and the battles that You performed for our forefathers in those days at this time, through the hand of Your holy kohanim.” The kohanim were an instrument, a vessel through which the miracle took place. That was their greatness — that they were able to give up their own identities and become the agents of G-d’s will in this world. Kohanim, descendants of Aharon, who are lovers of peace. Kohanim, who strictly observe the laws of ritual purity and stay far away from death’s touch, not attending funerals except for close relatives, not visiting cemeteries. Those holy people overcame their natural inclinations and did what they felt was right. By giving up their own desires, they allowed G-d to take charge. And once G-d is fighting the battles nothing is impossible.
Sometimes, when the world seems enveloped in darkness, we feel powerless to make a difference. But we can remind ourselves that it is G-d Who is fighting our battles. We don’t need to worry about our odds. We just need to do what’s right, whether or not it comes naturally to us.
May the light of our Chanuka candles illuminate the world with Divine light! Happy Chanuka!
Three articles in Jewish Home this week: on a documentary about the Jewish community of Kastoria, Greece, on the OU West Coast Convention, and on the Junity marriage conference.
Jewish Home also printed the first review of my book, Swords and Scrolls: book review.
If you’ve read the book hope you enjoyed it. You can leave your review at the Goodreads Swords and Scrolls page
If you haven’t had a chance to buy it yet, here’s the link again: Swords and Scrolls.
Sorry for disappearing — I’ve been busy working on my sequel to Swords and Scrolls. It’s almost done! Two of my kids read it and said that it was even better than the first book :). IY”H will keep you posted once it’s out.
Meanwhile, I’m back to Jewish Home articles. Three this week: on Rabbi Stulberger, head of Valley Torah High School, on holistic self-defense for the Jewish community, and on the upcoming SimXa Shabbaton for Russian speaking Jews and their families — please come if you’re able to. More info here.
Have a wonderful Shabbos, and an inspiring month of Kislev!