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Mi la'Shem Elai Malchus Prepration for Golus

The Talmud asks what is Chanuka? Rashi explains the question being - on what miracle was it established ?

The Gemera then recites the miracle of finding the jar of uncontaminated oil

A few days ago , I received froma friend an article about the Chanukah miracle in Buchenwald ,1944.A group of prisoners in the Valley of Death, prepared a small menorah and were saved at the last moment from being discoverd by the evil

Hanukkah candle lighting in Westerbork concentration camp.

 “ Dog”—that skinny little Unterschaarfuehrer....

You can read   Chanukah 1944 in Nieder-Orschel slave labor camp, a Buchenwald subcamp in Germany, is an excerpt of The Yellow Star by S.B. Unsdorfer.

in a moving article as told

 Being fortunate to be blessed with involvement with the world of torah and some contact with holy sages from a young age, I 'answered ' somewhat too quickly and glibly.But as  I started to do some writing ,moetze shabbas, I realized that I too needed a boost in my own faith.I find myself more inspired by the story of how Rabbi Shmelka, an inmate in Bergen Belson desperately searched for oil for the Chanukah lights, and 'miraculously' found some just in time for the lighting, but worried that the person who had prepared the light would go without.

“Several years later… he paid a visit to an acquaintance from the ‘old country’ — Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum. While they reminisced, the Rebbe mentioned that he had also been a prisoner in Bergen Belsen. ‘I was there a year before you,’ said the Rebbe. ‘I was rescued four days before Chanukah… I bribed several camp officials and put together a package of oil, cups, and wicks, which I then buried in a field. I always felt badly that my little menorah was never put to use.’

“Rabbi Shmelke smiled. ‘Your menorah was used. It dispelled the darkness for hundreds of Jews and helped at least one of them survive the war.’”

When King David writes, “For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness,” I don’t envisage an actual lamp. It is a Jewish mystical idea to liken the human soul to the flame on the wick of a candle, scintillating upwards, seeking to escape the clutches of the wick to unite with its Source above. I envisage King David here showing gratitude to the One who warms, heals, and illumines his soul; the earthly king of Israel showing gratitude to the King of Heaven for His willingness to chase the darkness from within."

Taken from A Well-Rooted Perspective” is the Internet version of a column of the same name that I write for the Religion page of my local newspaper. The following story is adapted from “Chanukah In Bergen-Belsen” by Libi Astaire,

We are iven 8 days to sing 'Maoz Tzur Yehuosi' to express our reliance on the 'Rock' of our Nation.As we pray through all the tribulations for our place of worship to be rebuilt and then - אז

1+7 = 8 , as the Maharal teaches 7 is nature, +1 , 8 is above nature,we will sing a song at the dedication of the altar.

The 'Chassid Yaavetz' is is quoted as saying that the miracle of the survival of our Nation, a 'lamb amongst 70 wolves' is far greater than any of the miracles recorded in the bible.

But too often ,in our time,the story of Chanukah is turned upside down by those who have rejected the oral law and tradition.And today , as b'h ,more and more of our people are returing to their roots spiritually and physically, and  we are starting to see a flicker of hope for the restoration of Zion, confusion ,politics and infighting seem to reign.

When Mattisyahu said 'mi la'Shem elai', it was not just a rebellion on the Greeks .Much more serious were the 'misyavnim', the Hellenized jews who had drifted away from our mesora.Our people ahve always been lovers of wisdom,so there was a natural drift to the allure of Greek culture.Actually , flowering of the Rabbinical tradition started with that cry of Mattisyhau; Maccabee games in Israel is not what it is all about.Neither does the IDF represent the Macabees as Netanyahu recently said to a group of religious soldiers, recenly enlisted, because Netanyahu , himself ,is still more or less 'Hellenized' and his vision is part of the problem, not the solution.

What about the gala event of cnadle lighting in the White House..

president_trump_hosts_white_house_hanukkah_reception_the_festival_of_lights ?

I don't believe that the president will  be able to rid the world of the cancer of anti semitism as he says ;if anything ,it seems to be on the rise more and more.What it does mean , is that with all the sufferings of the ages our people have gone through, the pendulum is swinging back, and we are starting to be recognized as fulfilling our National raison d'essence ' to be a 'Light unto the Nations.'

Ultimately , the only ones who can rid the world of anti semitism are ourselves.I don't mean only those who have openly rejected their people and show real enmity to what we are and meant to be as a "Holy Nation" and 'Kingdom of Priests'; I mean , even amongst ourselves , the "Observant'. Do we love Yidden unconditionally? Do we love the Torah the blueprint of our lives?Do we love the Land, where we can truly fulfill ourselves as servants of hakadosh boruch hu and where we unite as one people; the land of Israel, being that land where the mitzvos of 'arvus', responsibility one for the other kicks in?

This ,  I think ,is very obviously , a strong message  of the parshios we traditionally read in this time of Chanukah ; 'Vayeshev, Miketz, V'yigash.It was the hate betwen brothers which brought them down into exile.The libel of the 'stolen monies' and the 'stolen goblet' obviously hints to the many 'blood libels' the goyim have thrown at us through the generations (on a deeper level,it must connect to Rachel 'stealing ' her fathers' idol and hiding it with the excuse of being a 'niddah').

My Rebbe, a'h ,(the 'Pachad Yitzchok') did not accept the name 'shoa' or 'holocaust'as it denoted a breakdown of history.The horrors of the Nazis are clearly foretold in the curses of parshas ' bechukosai' and the gemerra clearly says it was due to 'sinas chinum ' , hate for no reason ,between yidden (actually the curses in bechukosai refer to the second churban as the Ramban points out.But as we consider the Rome to be Esau , and Amalek to be the illegitamate grandson,it is safe to consider the Nazis -Germany - neither holy , nor roman , nor an empire,as the finale of golus Edom.) .

We have a "kabbala" (tradition) that there are  2 Moshiachs - ben Yosef and ben Dovid.When Yosef ate ogether with his brothers, they were amazed how all were in their correct place.This is Yosef, the tzaddik, who withstands temptation and thereby prepares the people for the long years of golus, to stand together without losing their kedushe and chalile ,intermarry.

When Yehuda pleads with Yosef that he will take the place of Binyamin as a slave, he shows soemthing even greater - 'arvus' - responsibility one for the other.

We are one people, one neshema , united universally as the people who say together Shma Yisrael,haShem elokeinu , haShem echod,in all times and conditions,in this world and the other.

A little light can push away a great deal of darkness, when that light is pure.May we speedily see the Redemption as we all echo together the words 'mi Lashem Alai.'




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Thursday, 25 July 2024

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