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Critical Current Events:

Fighting for the Light, Past and Present

by Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright 2013 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

We are all so convinced that the lesson of Hanuka is a thing of the past.
But we are not paying attention!
That which brought about the need for Hanuka in the past
has resurrected itself today,
and planning for us (Israel, physical and spiritual) a very unsettling future.

Hanuka, we all know its meaning. We all light menorahs. And, we all are so equally convinced that Hanuka is a memory that belongs to the past. After all, today, we do not have have to fight for our lives, we do not really have a need for modern-day heroes, like the Hammers (Maccabees).

It's funny how history repeats itself. It's terrible how the evils of the past, that we fought so hard to defeat, and destroy, always mange to resurrect themselves, to come again and again, to unleash their venom and devastation.

All we want to do is to be left alone to live in peace.
But such does not seem to be our fate.
No matter how hard we try to just get along,
there always arises the monster that seeks to undermine all,
and its ugly head has arisen again,
with its roar drowning out the sound of logic and common sense.

No! The lesson of Hanuka is not a thing of the past. We tend to forget this! We still think of Hanuka today as having to do menorahs, dreidels, potato pancakes (latkes), and eight days of gifts. We have forgotten that Hanuka really is about self-sacrifice, hardships, struggles, war, and hard-fought, and hard-earned victory.

Remember this! Absolutely nowhere is the miracle of Hanuka described as Divine intervention, helping us win a war against those who sought to kill us. That war we had to fight for ourselves, and win for ourselves. We thank God for helping us win our victory, but that help came about through natural means, and not in the form of overt Divine intervention, or Biblical style miracles. All this is clearly spelled out for us in the ritual prayer, Al HaNisim, that religious Jews recite during the eight days of Hanuka.

So, the war of the past, is on our doorstep again today. In the past, the enemy was the Selucid Greeks. Today's enemy is the same old ancient evil, only in a different package, under a new name, boasting a new identity. Yet, underneath the facade of difference resides the same old evil face, that seeks to extinguish the Light of God's Word, by extinguishing the light-bearers, those whose names may also change, but whose identity is clear, known as they are, by their deeds.

Nothing has changed. There is nothing new under the sun. Today, we light the menorah and spin the dreidel. Tomorrow, the enemies of the Light seek to extinguish all. They want to extinguish the lights, break the dreidel, and, if given their way, they will even chop down the trees used by our neighbors in their celebrations.

When darkness seeks to extinguish the light, it knows no boundaries. Darkness destroys because that it what is does. Darkness recognizes no boundary of race, religion, creed or color. Where the Light is to be found, there is where the darkness strikes. The only difference today from the past is that today many carry the Light, and are unaware of, or oblivious to, the dangers of the encroaching darkness.

So today, Israel and the Jews are in danger from their enemies? When is this not the case? However today, it is not only Israel and the Jews who are in danger. Alongside every Jew in danger stands every other believer in the God of Israel, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Today, Jews are not the only target! The circle has widened, and includes within it, all the faithful of all the denominations of those who seek to walk the Biblical path and to shine the Biblical Light.

Today, the assault against the Light takes the form of legal attacks in a court of (so-called) law. Today, the assault against the Light is a social battle being fought most often with words, insults, and mockery. This is exactly how it started long ago in ancient Israel, with the jihadist atheists of the day, seeking to promote their religion of godlessness over those who stand for godliness. The attitude and agenda are the same, only the names have been changed to confuse the innocent.

So, what shall we do? How shall we again, this time, fight the old enemy under a new name? The answer is the same as it always has been!

We must have the courage, and the resolve of our convictions, to stand up for what we believe in, and practice our faith, in public, regardless of what others may tell us.

As long as we do not impose our ways on others, or wrongfully violate our own boundaries of space and privacy, we must, by no means, allow others to do this to us!

Standing up with pride for one's convictions always takes courage! The Maccabees had such courage, even though such courage cost them everything they had.

Some battles need to be fought. Some prices have to be paid, regardless of the cost.

We are not violent people. We do not express ourselves violently.

We are not a provocative people. We do not seek to provoke anyone.

However, we should rightfully be a proud people, who strongly embrace our Light, and who shine it ,without shame, or fear to the world.

Those around us have every right to turn their faces away from the Light, if they chose not to look upon it. We do not seek to shine it into their faces.

Nevertheless, the mere existence of the Light, is not a provocative act. Do not let the haters of Light tell you that it is!

The battle is only beginning. The stakes are high. Hanuka is not over. It is not only a celebration of past victories.

Hanuka is an annual reminder to us that the Light must shine always, and that the Light must be defended from generation to generation.

We have been entrusted to be the Light-bearers. This is our job, our duty, and our obligation to our fellow man. This is the way it was in the past. This is the way it is in the present. This is the way it will be in the future.

Today, they come again to extinguish the Light. That is why we must make extra efforts to make sure the Light shines even twice as bright!

We do not celebrate Hanuka by only remembering the past. We celebrate Hanuka is spirit and truth and exemplifying its message in the present.

We are the Light bearers. And, it is time to light the Menorah, the God-given symbol from the ancient Temple of the Eternal Light!

The message of Hanuka is no longer just for Jews. The message of the Light is for all the children of the Light of God's Living Word!
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The Written Works of Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright (C) 1997 - 2013 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.

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