Families on Hanukkah gather together and celebrate around dreidels, chocolate coins, and presents. Yet the holiday’s most profound meaning is in its core symbol and ritual: the lighting of the menorah. Rabbi Meir Soloveichik takes us through Hanukkah’s two pivotal historical stages, the age of the Temple and the age of Diaspora, teaching us about the triumph of monotheism and Judaism, and the lessons Hanukkah’s miracles hold for anyone who cares about Jewish survival.
Today is the first day of Chanukah.
And here is a timeless message from Simon the Maccabee:
“We have not taken a foreign land, nor did we take the property of others — for this is the inheritance of our fathers, which was for some time unjustly possessed by our enemies. But we, having the opportunity, returned to us the inheritance of our fathers.”
— First Book of the Maccabees, 15:33-34.
“לא ארץ נוכריה לקחנו ולא ברכוש זרים משלנו, כי אם נחלת אבותינו, אשר בידי אויבינו בעת מן העיתים בלא משפט נכבשה. ואנחנו כאשר הייתה לנו עת, הושיבונו נחלת אבותינו” (ספר מקבים א, טו’ לג-לד) [Read more…] about Chanukah 2018: Same Enemies, Same Conflicts
…On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the Festival of Sukkot, seven days for the L-RD… on the eighth day, there shall be a holy convocation for you. -Leviticus 23:34
Tonight begins the last days of the Succot holiday, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. We will be offline until Wednesday. We wish all our friends and relatives a joyous holiday.
The painting depicts a number of well known Rabbis from previous generations dancing with Torah scrolls on Simchat Torah — the day of rejoicing with the Torah.
Today is the holiday of Purim.
It is no accident that in 2015, Benjamin Netanyahu referenced Purim when delivering his powerful address to the U.S. Senate in an unsuccessful bid to curb Obama’s legitimization of a nuclear Iran.
Purim is an old ( 5th century B.C.E.) but painfully familiar story: A Jew-hater named Haman hatches a plan to annihilate the Jewish people in the ancient kingdom of Persia.
In a speech that Jews recognize all too well, Haman tells the king, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from those of every other people’s, and they do not observe the king’s laws; therefore it is not befitting the king to tolerate them.” (Esther 3:8.)
The king places the fate of the Jews into the hands of Grand Vizier Haman.
I am republishing this entry, with some edits, because after the Parkland atrocity—a massive failure of local and federal government and law enforcement at every level—the antigun hysteria of the left, with their photogenic high school commissars in the vanguard, presents a danger to the Second Amendment.
Make no mistake about it; the left plans to do away with the Second Amendment through the anthropomorphism of weapons, a dangerous anti-intellectual intellectual trend.
If you think about it, all our rights are useless if the right to bear arms is nullified.
A final note: I was visiting a close friend who is a Holocaust survivor. We were talking about guns and the current antigun delirium which grips the left.
My friend said: “It was men with guns who liberated the camps.”