An attempt is made to share the truth regarding issues concerning Israel and her right to exist as a Jewish nation. This blog has expanded to present information about radical Islam and its potential impact upon Israel and the West. Yes, I do mix in a bit of opinion from time to time.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
From Chanukah to Christmas
December 25, 2012
These days I do not know anyone who thinks the human race is in a
Islam is on the move; it represents all that the
"enlightened" west has fought to achieve for centuries. If Islam
takes control over the world, as it wants to do, it will throw the free world back
to the 7th century and in time, when people will have enough of religious
tyranny, same wars for freedom and liberty will have to be fought all over again.
There is nothing in common between Judaism, Christianity and Islam
but there can be found a common thread between Judaism and Christianity.
The Jewish nation has just finished celebrating Chanukah. For the
Jews, this festival, mind you not based on faith or Biblical Command, is a
symbol of courage, heroism and a sign from God; a victory of the few over the
To the world Chanukah needs to be known as the first war fought for
the freedom of religion. After all Mattathia Hashmona'i's call was poignant: "Who is for Godjoin me"
Mattathias ben Johanan, of the house of the Hasmonean, was a Jewish priest, a member of a rural
priestly family from Modi'in and served in the Temple in Jerusalem. He is
accorded a central role in the story ofChanukah.
After the Greek-Seleucid persecutions of Jews
in the land of Judea began, Mattathias returned to Modi'in from Jerusalem. In
167 BC, when asked by a Greek-Seleucid government representative, under King
Antiochus IV, to offer sacrifice to the Greek gods, not only he refused to do
so, but as the story goes, slew with his own hand the Jew who had stepped
forward to do so. He then attacked the government official that required the
act. Upon the edict for his arrest, he took refuge in the wilderness of Judea with
his five sons – Judah, Eleazar, Simon, John and Jonathan-, and called upon all
Jews to follow him and many eventually responded to his call.
This was the first step in the war of the Maccabees
against the Greek-Seleucid, resulted
in Jewish independence, in the land of Judea, for 400 years.
Mattathias' call for battle:
"Who is for God join me," which marked the beginning of the, led by
the Maccabees, revolt against the Greek Hellenist-Seleucids and those who collaborated
with them, the Hellenized Jews, was not a religious call; it was a call to gather
into a camp, with the basic and clearest common denominator of the time, to
isolate the wheat from the chaff. This call was to gather the "Lovers of
Zion" of then, the God's faithful of then, under one flag, in order to stand
up to the Greeks and the Hellenized Jews who undermined Zion. And this call is
true and applies to these days and should stand firm.
The events of the Maccabean revolt and the war of the
Maccabees – from 167 to 160 BCE - form
the basis for the holiday of Chanukah,
which commemorates the victory of the Maccabees and is celebrated by Jews on
the 25th of the month of Kislev of the Hebrew calendar, corresponding to
Mid-November to Late-December on the Gregorian Calendar.
Jews associate Chanukah with miracles; it is the miracle that Jews commemorate
because it is a reminder of possibilities. Possibilities to stand for one's
rights to be free and practice his or hers religion and win the battle; the possibilities
that from the darkness of war against oppression God will emerge and against all
odds provide the light for the Temple that will last beyond all expectations. And
so each time the Jewish nation lights a Chanukah or Shabbat candle, it releases
a flare of light from the darkness, which comes to remind us all of what was,
is and can still be.
As soon as Chanukah is over and the last light of the Chanukah menorah
dims, the lights of Christmas start shining bright, as if they continue the
mission of the Chanukah candles.
Jerusalem at Christmas, the undivided capital of Israel, the only
city in the entire Middle East that honors and respects Christmas Photo: jerusalemshots.com
Christmas, a widely observed holiday,
celebrated on December 25th, by millions of people around the world, is an
annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, the father of Christianity,
the birth of another monotheistic religion, the second to rise after Judaism.
As a Jew, to me it seems that somehow Christmas
has some linkage and continuity to Chanukah; it is
symbolized by bright lights and the emphasis on miracles, generosity, faith and
family unity, the basis on which human beings' life rests.
There is a very special, positive aura to the
period that starts on the day Jews light the first candle of Chanukah
and the end of Christmas day and each year I say, I wish it never ends so that
reality sets back in.