Let him who is convinced that his views are true and right express them . . . at every opportunity . . . without considering how much support or how much opposition he will encounter. Only falsehood is in need of many supporters in order to win the day; falsehood must have the authority of numbers to make up for what it lacks in justification. Truth, by contrast, will always prevail, even if it takes time. Noble, courageous and pure, expressed with all the fiery zeal and conviction and with all clarity of sure awareness, stated again and again at every opportunity, truth will ultimately gain respect and admiration even of those who do not accept it. The only truth that can be lost beyond recall is that truth whose adherents no longer have the courage to speak up candidly on its behalf. Truth has never gone down in defeat as the result of opposition, it has done so only when its friends are too weak to defend it. - R' S.R. Hirsch

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chanukah is a Threatening Holiday

There are things that are worse than death and slavery:

The Maccabees rose up not only against physical oppression, Israel had and would face that over and over again, they rose up against an assault on their religious and cultural  identity.  The lighting of the Menorah is the perpetuation of that cultural resistance and when it is performed properly then it reminds us that cultural oppression, like physical oppression, is ubiquitous, and that just as the forms of cultural oppression can often go unnoticed, so too the resistance to it can go unnoticed as well.

Every year that we celebrate Chanukah, the left makes another attempt to "desecrate the temple" by destroying its meaning and replacing it with the usual grab bag of social justice issues under the union label of "Tikkun Olam". And each time we push back against their ruthless assault on Jewish history and tradition the same way that the Maccabees did, by reclaiming our sacred places, cleaning away the filth left behind by the occupiers, and lighting the Menorah to remind us of who we are.

Chanukah marks the culmination of the Maccabee campaign for the liberation of Jerusalem. It is the time when we remember the men and women who refused to submit to the perversion of their values and the theft of their land. It reminds us that we must not allow our land to be stolen under any guise or allow our religion, history and culture to be perverted on any pretext. The light of the Menorah reminds us that the sacredness of a nation is in its spirit and that preserving that spirit is an eternal struggle against the conquerors of land and the tyrants of souls.

Chanukah is a Holiday of Resistance. It commemorates the physical and spiritual resistance that is required of us sooner or later in all times. Chanukah takes us back to the armed resistance and the moral awakening that liberated Jerusalem and connected the Jewish people with their G-d once again. And that reminds us to never give up, not in the face of an assault on our bodies or on our culture. The lights go out, but they are lit again, each day, for thousands of years, reminding us to hold on to our traditions and our faith, rather than trade them in for the trendy trinkets and cheap jewelery of progressive liberalism.

A war to the death was declared on G-d and His law in the days of the Hasmoneans.  It was a war imbued with the spirit of Greek Hellenism, a spirit which animated a culture that ostensibly vaunted itself as a protector of rights and freedom.

More devastating than Alexander's military victory was the triumph of Greek morals and culture which engulfed and enchanted so much of the Orient, a culture that was committed to training the intellect and flattering the senses.  

The Maccabees, however, were animated and inspired by a much different Spirit and ideology, a Spirit and ideology which served to steel them against the sensuality of Hellenism, compelled them to reject as degenerate what all others around them considered beautiful and attractive, and caused them to regard as illusory what all others considered to be true. 

The war is not waged against the Jews alone, but against anyone who is committed to forging an iron phalanx around G-d's sanctuary while refusing to be duped by the Hellenistic progressive spirit of our age, a spirit which bids us to worship ourselves, which deifies humanist ideals, and champions the dubious claim that 'social justice' is the the sole metric by which duty and morality are measured.  The ideology of the Hellenists left drags all that is true, all that is noble, all that is praiseworthy, all that is Divine down into the abyss of sophisticated sensualism and solipsism.

Are we blind to the dangers of Antiochus in the present hour?  Then, may He open our eyes and give us the courage to wage the war to restore the purity of His Sanctuary once again.

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