Sixth night of Hanukkah reflection

  • December 02, 2013

    Sixth Night of Hanukkah

     

    The Maccabees were successful.  They purged Israel of the debilitating Greek presence.  They restored the sanctity of the holy Temple in Jerusalem, and reminded the Jewish people they were capable of determining their own future.  No longer need they be considered pawns of every invading country.

     

    Yet, their victory was short-lived.  Within a short time the Maccabees succumbed to the forces they were attempting to combat.  Not only were the Maccabees attempting to rid Israel of the invading Greeks, they sought to destroy the Jewish population’s will that welcomed the Hellenizing practices into their lives.  Led by the Priesthood, a Civil War ensued between the pro-Hellenizing Priesthood and its followers, and the Maccabees with their dedicated followers.

     

    Soon, the Maccabeesl became as corrupt as the former High Priesthood.  Wooed by the power and intrigue of their new positions, the Maccabees allowed themselves to lose sight of their original goal to ignite a passion for the return to traditional Jewish practices.

     

    As we light the sixth candle let us recall the plight of the Maccabees.  Just as they struggled for their causes and enjoyed victory so have many Jews in our contemporary world.  It seems the rarity when power, authority and success are attained and one’s value system remains unsullied.  May we commit to just that- reminding ourselves of the purity of the Maccabees’ vision and the mission we accept as bearers of their torch.  May the light of the flickering candles guide us on a journey that always prods us to rise above unethical and inhumane tendencies.  It is so difficult to be successful…it is even more difficult to remain true to ourselves and to our principles after having enjoyed success.

     

    Hag Urim Sameah,

     

    P.S.  Don’t forget to RSVP for our Hanukkah Wrap-up on Wednesday evening, December 4, featuring the Bible Players, free dinner with our Men’s Club latkes, bounce houses, and a full hanukkiah lighting.  RSVP to receptionist@anshaitorah.org.

     

    Rabbi Stefan J. Weinberg