Chanukah sameach!

Chanukah commemorates the victory of the small group of Jewish fighters, the Maccabees, against the Greeks who defiled the Beit Hamikdash. After winning, the Jews then entered the Beit Hamikdash to kindle the menorah and found miraculously one flask of pure oil with the seal of the Cohen gadol still on it.


Today is the auspicious day of Yud Tet (Yud Tes) Kislev, the day that the first Chabad Rebbe, the Alter Rebbe, was released from prison after 53 days in confinement. He was imprisoned on trumped up charges of treason, but as we know, any accusation in this world is due to an accusation above in the Heavenly realms. What was the accusation against the Alter Rebbe? That he was introducing to the world a new study of Torah, the inner dimension of chassidut, and he was doing so to the masses whereas in the past the inner dimension (such as Kabbalah) had only been studied by a select few.


It is very nice that America has one day of the year to sit down and give thanks for everything.  But as Jews, everyday is thanks giving! In fact, the power of recognizing the blessings one has and offering thanks to the Almighty is very important and has even brought miracles to many people.  It is something that is not always easy to do because we tend to focus on what we are lacking rather than on what we have.


Our forefather Abraham (Avraham Avinu) stood up against the entire world. At that time, everyone worshipped idols.  He was one person against the multitude. He stood up against falseness and lies. The whole world was against him. Nimrod tried to kill him by throwing him in a fiery furnace. His own father Terach tried to kill him.  But Avraham did not care. He knew the truth. He understood about the Creator o f the world and he stood up against all lies and spent his life spreading the truth to others.


The other day I was watching a documentary about the chareidi (religious) Jews in Israel and the controversy with the secular Jews. As usual it portrayed the religious Jews in a negative light, focusing more on the so called “enlightened” views of the secular society. A totally non Jewish perspective, as usual.  And it made me sad to see how the non Jews choose to view the religious Jews, not really coming to understand the Torah viewpoints or lifestyle.  Because they are looking for ways to denigrate Jews and to put down the religious Jews. They are not seeking truth.


The fact that the Israeli govt is having a hard time forming a viable coalition is to me a clear indication that we do not need a new govt.   There is no political solution for Israel. We definitely do not need a govt that will compromise security, give away land, pay money to terrorists, turn a blind eye to those suffering or run the country contrary to Torah.  We need Moshiach! That is the only solution for the world in general.


Now that all the yomtovim are over, we are back to so called “normal” life…..but when I think back over the past month filled with so many wonderful Jewish holidays, I find myself wondering what is normal? Is it life now, or is It all those beautiful holidays where we feel so close to Hashem and so happy? Why can’t that inspiration last a whole year?  Well, it can. We need to take all the light and joy and inspiration from all these holidays and incorporate them into our daily lives. When we do a mitzva, let’s do it with more enthusiasm.  When we pray, let’s have more kavana.


i would like to take a moment to wish everyone a shana tova umetuka: a healthy, happy and sweet new year. The Lubavitcher Rebbe once explained why we bless each other with a sweet new year rather than just a good new year. The answer is that good that comes from Above can sometimes come from a very high level and down here on the material plane, it can look negative to us.  So we wish each other a sweet new year: the good that is bestowed upon us this new year should be with an open revealed good that we can appreciate as good.


 As the Israelis go to the polls, I would like to share a really beautiful video by Rabbi Greenberg on the security of the land of Israel and the concerns that would affect the election results.

Please also look at my website section on security of the land of Israel to learn more and understand the issues deeply.


Sometimes everything looks just right.  We want something so much, Hashem makes it possible and it looks like it will happen….but then at the last moment it doesn’t work out. Plans change. Things fall apart.    Why? We feel disappointed, confused….why did Hashem help us , but then He changed the plan?  How do we know what Hashem really wants?

I will give an example:

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