Who Respects Women?

The cultural war taking in place in Israel, which is one of the subjects wehave stressed for a long time now, has reached new heights. This time we aretalking about the event in Yatir Forest which was initiated by the army-preparatory schools. The moment the rabbis of the religious preparatory schools announced that they cannot participate in the event if women singers will be performing, the media geared themselves for attack.

This time they directed their vicious arrows at the “trampling of women’s honor” by the rabbis. Does the honor of women really concern them? Is there any connection at all between the prohibition in Jewish law of hearing awoman sing and the hurting of her honor? Obviously the very opposite is true. The prohibition stems from the idea to protect the honor and dignity of women, as the sages say: “So that the daughters of Israel won’t be’hefker'” (up for grabs).

But the sad part of this story is that the hellenists succeeded in portraying themselves as the protectors of the honor of women. They who fill the streets of the cities of Israel with pictures of abominations, whose very essence is the cheapening and degradation of women – they are the one stalking about honoring women? They, who over the last few years have cheapened and degraded the integrity of the daughters of Israel to such an extent that Jewish history knows no precedent? They speak of honoring women?

We have no qualms about speaking so harshly about the differences betweenthese two cultures. For we know that what is really taking place is not an argument between “religious” and “secular”, but rather a war between a handful of hellenists obsessed with western culture versus the heritage of our fathers which the gentiles never succeeded to destroy, and which Jews won’t succeed either.

Because of this, it was sad to hear one side speak so bluntly, while the religious side spoke out of the sides of their mouths. My G-d! What are you apologizing about! Nothing will convince the public more than a sticking to one’s principles and the halacha, without trying to sound “nice”. One does not have to be “religious” to oppose the drugs, violence, and pornography which plague Israeli society today. A strong and proud stance will not alienate the masses, who still seek values for their children, and know instinctively that hellenism is not the way.

Illogical compromises do not give honor to Torah, especially when the hellenists are not interested in compromises, but rather in a total crushing of Torat Yisrael.

The Right of the Public to Know

The media’s general lack of coverage of the trial of “Zu Artzeinu” which had been going on for the last two years and concluded with the conviction of Shmuell Sackett and Moshe Feiglin to public service, is astonishing. After all, “Zu Artzeinu” received wide coverage for blocking the roads, etc., something the media could not possibly ignore. And now, when they are brought to trial for these very actions, how could they be totally ignored?

For the sake of comparison, let us assume that the trial was for the leaders of “There is a Limit” (Yesh Gvul) for their actions against the war in Lebanon. Without a doubt, the media would not miss a hearing, and it would receive massive coverage (and of course they would not stop attacking the lack of freedom of expression which the very essence of the trial expresses, but that is another story). Certainly the sentencing would dominate the headlines, and the accused would be lauded as heroes (at least similar to the fashion that Feiglin and Sackett were portrayed in Arutz 7)

In my opinion, we can no longer suffice with answers that it is a “hostile media” (which is true in its own right), but rather we should also realize the answer lies in the fact that it is a “detached media”. The media is madeup of a specific type of person, who lives a certain lifestyle and is partof a certain culture. They simply do not live or feel the trial of “Zu Artzeinu”, precisely in the way they do not understand the “language” of the settlers or religious Jews as a whole. The activities of the Egyptian ambassador Muhmad Basyoni, for example, appear as a regular item in their daily gossip column, because those are the circles that they hang out in.

In other words, two different nations have sprouted, with the media people, judiciary types, and the rest of the “elite” at the helm of one group, while on the other side is that part of the Jewish People who still feel connected in their gut to Judaism – the religious, the traditional, and the nationalist Jews. The media folk live in the political, jet-set, Bohemian world, and report the news accordingly. But the “other side of the nation” they simply are not familiar with, and their news coverage reflects it.

Shabbat and Bar Ilan Street

The Chinuch continues: “We must enforce our religion through fear of the masses of our police and army; and by getting them used to going on the proper path out offear, they will learn to make it part of their nature to do what is righteous…”

After several months, the Israeli Supreme Court decided that Bar Ilan Street will remain open to traffic on Shabbat. I want to take this opportunity to explain how a true Jewish leadership should deal with theissue of Shabbat observance in the public and private sectors, in the present situation we are in today where so many Jews in the Jewish State do not observe Shabbat.

Without a doubt, Shabbat is one of the essential mitzvot that can offer Jewish character to the Jewish State. Not for nothing has Shabbat been the focal point of the struggle all these years between religious Jews and the haters of Judaism. This is because the observance or desecration of Shabbatis something clear-cut that cannot be blurred over. For this reason, thereis no doubt that a true Jewish leadership which would uproot all theanti-Jewish power bases in the media and court system, would also see it asan obligation to give the State of Israel Jewish character by way of Shabbatobservance in the public sphere. To be specific, concerning the seriousproblem of transportation on the Shabbat, there is no doubt that not onlywould the streets in the religious neighborhoods be closed, but it would beforbidden to travel on Shabbat in the entire country, excluding instances of”pekuach nefesh”. Judaism does not belong to one particular sector of thepopulation, and religious Jews should not be worrying only about theirpersonal “Oneg Shabbat” or the spiritual well-being of their children only.G-d forbid! We Jews are all guarantors for one another. Such blatant and massive “Hillul Shabbat” in the Jewish State is a “Hillul Hashem”!

All this is concerning the public sector. Concerning the private sector and what happens inside a person’s home, there is no power at this stage for a Jewish government to get involved. In truth, according to the halacha, there is a responsibility on the Jewish government to punish the transgressor,even if his sin is between him and himself. This is certainly one of the major functions of a Jewish government. The Sefer Chinuch explains the mitzvah “Judges and policemen shall be in all your gates”: “One must appoint judges and police to force him to do mitzvot and Torah, and to return the strays back on the path of truth against their will, and they will comman dthem to do the proper things, and prevent detestable things…” The Chinuch continues: “We must enforce our religion through fear of the masses of our police and army; and by getting them used to going on the proper path out offear, they will learn to make it part of their nature to do what is righteous…”

My father and teacher who thought long and hard on this subject and tried to take hold of the reigns of leadership of this country (a process he started and which we, with G-d’s help, will complete), knew that it was an absoluteobligation to give Jewish character to the public sphere of the country. He knew that a solution had to be given to a public that is at it’s lowest spiritual level, and sees Shabbat as a day for having fun and desecration. This is why he put in his platform a five day work week, where there would be Sunday off as well. This would give the public a chance to “party” on Sunday, but would also give it a true day of rest on Shabbat, and in such a fashion, the people would learn what Shabbat is all about and would be brought closer to Judaism by revealing the true aura of Shabbat.

Friends, it is forbidden to be afraid of the haters of Judaism. For sure, such a program will have them jumping out of their skin. Bur they are such asmall minority. And so I return to the Supreme Court decision on Bar Ilan Street. We have a cultural war going on here. With a government which is supposed to be more nationalistic and Jewish, but is really weak, helpless and hopeless, the hellenists mustered up the courage and gall to raise above all the banner of democracy and hellenism, thus deciding that they are wiser than the public at large, which identifies with Jewish values. Afterwards, they speak of religious coercion, when the truth is that they impose hellenist coercion on the Nation of G-d. We must not remain quiet.

Arabs Threatening Arabs Who Sell Land to Jews: Nazi Law?

“Nazi Law” or War over the Land of Israel?

The Advisor to the Prime Minister, David Bar Ilan, claims that the prohibition declared by the Palestinian Authority to sell land to Jews is “Nazi law”. Many from the right were quick to agree with him.

But for the sake of truth, this is all demagoguery. For if the Palestinians, indeed, have national rights to the Land of Israel (as the Government ofIsrael says they do!), it should be expected that they would prohibit the selling of what they see as their land to Jews! Even in Jewish law, there is a similar concept where if one who gives over land to foreign hands, he is considered a traitor who is punished by death.

And let’s not even point out the words of the Rambam who prohibits the selling of the land of Israel to gentiles. (Hilchot Avoda Zara, Chapter 10) The fact is, over a year ago the rabbis of Tzfat gave this “psak halacha”,and the Hellenists accused them of “racism”. But amongst the Arabs there are no hellenists…

Even the Jewish National Fund prohibits selling land to Arabs. Are they also Nazis?

And so, three Arabs who sold land to Jews have been killed so far. The time has arrived that we stopped crying about “Nazi Law”, and realize that we are in a war over the Land of Israel. This Arab law is just part and parcel to that war. In the end, it will go only to one side. The Arabs understand this. When will we?

Zachi HaNegbi and the Bankruptcy of Secular Zionism

If there was not a Zachi HaNegbi, we would have had to invent him. What better example is there to illustrate the bankruptcy of secular nationalism. Who can better teach us how even the most fervent of them has no real true stance, because only faith in G-d is the ingredient which enables the Jewish leader to with stand the difficult pressures which one may be faced with. One who does not possess the objective and absolute values of Judaism cannot with stand the pressure. Some may require mild pressure to fold, while others may require more, but in the end, there is nothing real to hold him. And so he proceeds to convince himself that it isn’t so terrible, and it’s better to concede a little than to lose a lot, and all the other “cheshbonot” which there is no end to.

It is important to note how Zachi HaNegbi himself explains how he underwent his change: “As a result of my learning law, I began to understand that without democracy, there is no life on the “monument” (in his younger days, HaNegbi barricaded himself on the top of a monument in Yamit in an effort to prevent the “legal” government decision to evacuate Yamit). It is democracy which enables the people to fight for what it believes in, without having a hair on it’s head being harmed.” Afterwards, he proceeds to pour praise on the judge Aharon Barak.

On the other hand, someone who embraces absolute values according to the”halacha”, knows that the “halacha” is “stubborn” and can’t be toyed around with. What we have here is two entirely different and contradictory points of view which will eventually come to a head, as exemplified by the halachic ruling forbidding soldiers to fulfill orders negating the Jewish halacha. What is frightening, however, is how far some Jews, who started out with good intentions, can actually go.

By the way, last month Hanegbi as Justice Minister demanded that the rabbis cancel their “psak Halacha” which forbids soldiers to carry out orders which negate the Jewish law. Our faithful readers know how much we have stressed over the past few years the cultural war taking place in Israel between the Jews and Hellensits. And now, the Justice Minister’s call to the rabbis sounds like a returning nightmare which we thought had gone away and wouldn’t come back. After all, such behavior we had grown accustomed to in recent years from past Justice Ministers such as David Libai, or from the likes of former ministers Yosi and Shuli from the Meretz party who openly fought against Torah and Jewish halacha. And now, we are getting the same treatment from one of “our own” Justice Ministers, who, by the way, recently replaced someone who was spit out by the system because he was religious! Yes, one of “our own” is now demanding that the rabbis – the same rabbi swhom he boldly stood by in the struggle for “Eretz Yisrael”, take back their halachic ruling!

Well, let Zachi HaNegbi know: Just like your predecessors in all generations did not succeed in forcing Jews to cancel halachic rulings which are G-d’sword, so too will you fail to cancel even one halacha! You, who once barricaded yourself on the Yamit monument to prevent the withdrawal from the Sinai, and who now has become a supporter of the Hebron withdrawal and an eager servant to the ambitions of Netanyahu and your own quest for power; You, who with such utter ease went from being a bitter enemy of the left to a defender of the leftist-oriented legal system which today you warmly embrace – Know: Relief and deliverance will arise to the Jews from elsewhere, and you, despite your past “record”, will be tossed into the trash can of history in but a short while…

Nitzavim/Vayelech: Free Will

See – I have placed before you today the life and the good, and the death and the evil, that which I command you today. To love Hashem, your G-d, to walk in His ways, to observe His commandments, His decrees, and His ordinances; then you will live and you will multiply, and Hashem, your G-d, willbless you in the Land to which you come to possess it…

I call heaven and earth as witnesses! Before you I have placed life and death, the blessing and the curse. You must choose life, so that you and your descendants will live. (Deut. 30:15,16).

 This warning was issued when the Jewish People were about to enter their land, to live there isolated from the nations’ detestable practices. Unfortunately, even in Eretz Yisrael, we sinned greatly and exile was decreed, such that instead of being a “nation that dwells alone” (Num. 23:9), we ended up among the nations, and most of the Jewish People became like them. As a result, large parts of our people, in effect, lost the ability to choose. The free choice that was their lot in Eretz Yisrael, their land and birthplace, became a farce among the nations where they were conquered by foreign culture; and countless Jews became spiritual captives.How can we expect Israel to repent as a people when they do not even have any questions? Why should G-d continue punishing His people for so long when not only is the punishment not beneficial, but, as we saw following the dreadful Holocaust, tens of thousands of believing Jews even became heretics? How can G-d draw near to Him a people that has lost its understanding to choose between good and evil, between life and death? Regarding the verse, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then may you also do good, that are accustomed to doing evil” (Jer. 13:23), Redak comments, “You have so accustomed yourselves to evil that it cannot leave you, as though it were a second nature to you.”In this age of  great scientific and technological advancement, when materialistic, cosmopolitan “realism” makes assimilation seem acceptable, it is clear that the Jewish captive to foreign culture will not improve his ways. Quite the contrary, he marches along proudly, far from the camp, far from the idea of repenting, almost cut off from every link to his origins. He has lost, so to speak, the power of free choice. He who was earmarked to be like the stars of the heavens, wallows in the mire.

Continue reading “Nitzavim/Vayelech: Free Will”

The Cultural War (from Baruch HaGever)

“…And so we see that the battle front of the cultural war is in the court-room. The latest decisions by the Supreme Court, forcing the Chief Rabbinate to act contrary to “halacha” in various areas such as kosher food and the registration of gentiles as Jews, are intended to incapacitate their “rivals” – the rabbinical courts; to show them, over and over again, who is in control; and to prove that the State of Israel, in its totality, is run according to the values of democracy, not of Judaism.

No. What is happening in the courts today is hardly an accident. It is no coincidence that the Supreme Court has become the main artery of the Hellenist camp. It is not because leftists “just happened” to infiltrate the judiciary. It is something much more basic. It is because the gentile justice system is fundamentally opposed to, and must per force wage war against Divine Justice; hence, the judiciary, by its very nature, attracts to itself those who hate G-d.

Not for nothing does the “halacha” rule that a Jew who litigates in a gentile court commits a terrible Hillul Hashem. This is because it is the justice system which is the embodiment of a society, its values and philosophy – and by preferring gentile laws we are betraying G-d, saying to Him, so to speak, that human justice invented by a few gentiles is more dependable than His justice. As Rabeinu Bechaye put it, “idolatry thus becomes cherished”.

And indeed, the Supreme Court, faithful to it’s worship of democracy, has taken off its kid gloves, on the assumption that Israeli society is sufficiently “mature” to shake off “primitive beliefs”. All the legislation legitimizing homosexuality, coercion in one form or another against the Chief Rabbinate to certify the “treif” as kosher, decisions that the democratic nature of the state is more important than its Jewish nature – this legislation is intended to bring their day of victory closer.

From the perspective of the Supreme Court, the cultural war is at its height. They understand that now the time is ripe, and if they don’t take advantage of it, they will have lost a golden opportunity.

Thrill Kill

This week I have chosen to deviate from my usual article on the parsha of the week, and to concentrate instead on another parsha that occured exactly last year and whose trial began this week. It is a parsha that reflects and is a symptom of all the national diseases that the Jewish state is inflicted with today. I am relating to the motive that stood behind the senseless murder of a Jewish cab driver by two Jewish youths in Herzelia in what has been defined as a “rich kids” crime, done mainly out of boredom or for “action”.

Let us begin with the morning headline in the Israeli newspaper “Yideot Achronot” on the 20th of Shevat, 5754, where an expert advisor in educational affairs is quoted as she attempts to explain the incident: “From the description of the events it is clear that we are dealing here with psychopaths whose sense of good and evil have been totally blurred. People who have no superego and can not distinguish…” The journalist writing the article went on to write in the course of his interview that the expert advisor in education had the following rather sudden admission: It could very well be that my diagnosis stems from wishful thinking – because if they are not, indeed, psychopaths, then we must say that something really terrible is happening here, and one must conclude that a severe disease has infested Israeli society. End of quote.

All this is worth taking a closer look at. What is really going on here? Is there a blurring of boundaries of good and evil? Is there a disease infesting Israeli society? The fact is that our advisor is correct on both counts. In other words, a dreaded disease of not being able to distinguish between good and evil has totally infested Israeli society.

Sound shocking? Perhaps an exaggeration? Let’s see. The advisor speaks of an inability to distinguish between good and evil. But can we say that our enlightened advisor herself is capable of discerning between good and evil? Let us approach this from a different direction. The advisor is under the assumption that the act of these two youths is one that must be defined as “evil”. I ask her, who says so? Who is to say that the killing of a cab driver is a bad thing? Who can objectively determine what is bad? Our expert advisor? Society? The Supreme Court? Who determines the boundaries of good and evil? The “superego”? What will convince these two boys, the fruits of Israeli society, that the fulfillment of their desires is less important than the life of the cab driver?

What gives our advisor the authority to declare what is good and what is evil? Afterall, according to authentic democracy, which the state of Israel so prides itself on, there is no such thing as good and evil.Everything is relative. What determines right and wrong is the “democratic majority” – thus the entire value system is subject to change every four years by the voters. How are the youth supposed to take such a value system seriously? A dreaded disease has indeed infested Israeli society, and our advisor is one of the architects of this culturally empty society devoid of any real values. It is she herself who is part to blame for spreading this deadly virus.

And why? Because a Jew who casts aside the Torah, which is the real value system defining good and evil, can not complain about youths, who for all intents and purposes simply expanded upon their definition of “freedom” and “democracy”. These boys committed a heinous crime and they must be punished. But the real culprits are the educators of these boys who are the molders of Israeli society. Those who threw away the Torah with its objective truth, whose system of values is eternal and therefore not subject to change. It is they who are the real criminals and the national finger of accusation must be pointed at them. We must declare a cultural war upon them. It is our obligation to send these so called leaders home. Its been long overdue, for the number of their victims grows and grows with every passing day.

A government that frees convicted Arab terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands and makes them policemen should have no problem understanding twisted and sick kids that kill Jews for no reason.

Hanukah: Down With Hanukah

If I were a Reform rabbi; if I were a leader of the Establishment whose money and prestige have succeeded in capturing for him the leadership and voice of American Jewry; if I were one of the members of the Israeli Government’s ruling group; if I were an enlightened sophisticated, modern Jewish intellectual, I would climb the barricades and join in battle against the most dangerous of all Jewish holidays – Chanukah.

It is a measure of the total ignorance of the world Jewish community that there is no holiday that is more universally celebrated than the “Feast of Lights”, and it is an equal measure of the intellectual dishonesty and of Jewish leadership that it plays along with the lie.  For if ever there was a holiday that stands for everything that the mass of world Jewry and their leadership has rejected – it is this one.  If one would find an event that is truly rooted in everything that Jews of our times and their leaders have rejected and, indeed, attacked – it is this one.  If there is any holiday that is more “unJewish” in the sense of our modern beliefs and practices – I do not know of it.

The Chanukah that has erupted unto the world Jewish scene in all its childishness, asininity, shallowness, ignorance and fraud – is not the Chanukah of reality.  The Chanukah that came into vogue because of Jewish parents – in their vapidness – needed something to counteract Christmas; that exploded in a show of “we-can-have-lights-just-as-our-goyish-neighbors” and in an effort to reward our spoiled children with eight gifts instead of the poor Christian one; the Chanukah that the Temple, under its captive rabbi, turned into a school pageant so that the beaming parents might think that the Religious School is really successful instead of the tragic joke and waste that it really is; the Chanukah that speaks of Jewish Patrick Henrys giving-me-liberty-or death and the pictures of Maccabees as great liberal saviors who fought so that the kibbutzim might continue to be free to preach their Marx and eat their ham, that the split-level dwellers of suburbia might be allowed to violate their Sabbath in perfect freedom and the Reform and Conservative Temples continue the fight for civil rights for Blacks, Puerto Ricans and Jane Fonda, is not remotely connected with reality.

This is NOT the Chanukah of our ancestors, of the generations of Jews of Eastern Europe and Yemen and Morocco and the crusades and Spain and Babylon.  It is surely not the Chanukah for which the Maccabees themselves died.  Truly, could those whom we honor so munificently, return and see what Chanukah has become, they might very well begin a second Maccabean revolt. For the life that we Jews lead today was the very cause, the REAL reason for the revolt of the Jews “in those days in our times.”

What happened in that era more than 2000 years ago?  What led a handful of Jews to rise up in violence against the enemy?  And precisely who WAS the enemy?  What were they fighting FOR and who were they fighting AGAINST?

For years, the people of Judea had been the vassals of Greece.  True independence as a state had been unknown for all those decades and, yet, the Jews did not rise up in revolt.  It was only when the Greek policy shifted from mere political control to one that attempted to suppress the Jewish religion that the revolt erupted in all its bloodiness.  It was not mere liberty that led to the Maccabean uprising that we so passionately applaud.  What we are really cheering is a brave group of Jews who fought and plunged Judea into a bloodbath for the right to observe the Sabbath, to follow the laws of kashruth, to obey the laws of the Torah.  IN A WORD EVERYTHING ABOUT CHANUKAH THAT WE COMMEMORATE AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO COMMEMORATE ARE THINGS WE CONSIDER TO BE OUTMODED, MEDIEVAL AND CHILDISH!

At best, then, those who fought and died for Chanukah were naïve and obscurantist.  Had we lived in those days we would certainly not have done what they did for everyone knows that the laws of the Torah are not really Divine but only the products of evolution and men (do not the Reform, Reconstructionist and large parts of the Conservative movements write this daily?)  Surely we would not have fought for that which we violate every day of our lives!  No, at best Chanukah emerges as a needless holiday if not a foolish one.  Poor Hannah and her seven children; poor Mattathias and Judah; poor well meaning chaps all but hopelessly backward and utterly unnecessary sacrifices.

But there is more.  Not only is Chanukah really a foolish and unnecessary holiday, it is also one that is dangerously fanatical and illiberal. The first act of rebellion, the first enemy who fell at the hands of the brave Jewish heroes whom our delightful children portray so cleverly in their Sunday and religious school pageants, was NOT a Greek.  He was a Jew.

When the enemy sent its troops into the town of Modin to set up an idol and demand its worship, it was a Jew who decided to exercise his freedom of pagan worship and who approached the altar to worship Zeus (after all, what business was it of anyone what this fellow worshipped?)  And it was this Jew, this apostate, this religious traitor who was struck down by the brave, glorious, courageous (are these not the words all our Sunday schools use to describe him?) Mattathias, as he shouted: “Whoever is for G-d, follow me!”

What have we here?  What kind of religious intolerance and bigotry?  What kind of a man is this for the anti-religious of Hashomer Hatzair, the graceful temples of suburbia, the sophisticated intellectuals, the liberal open-minded Jews and all the drones who have wearied us unto death with the concept of Judaism as a humanistic, open-minded, undogmatic, liberal, universalistic (if not Marxist) religion, to honor?  What kind of nationalism is this for David-Ben-Gurion (he who rejects the Galut and speaks of the proud, free Jew of ancient Judea and Israel)?

And to crush us even more (we who know that Judaism is a faith of peace which deplores violence), what kind of Jews were these who reacted to oppression with FORCE?  Surely we who so properly have deplored Jewish violence as fascistic, immoral and (above all!) UN-JEWISH, stand in horror as we contemplate Jews who declined to picket the Syrian Greeks to death and who rejected quiet diplomacy for the sword, spear and arrow (had there been bombs in those days, who can tell what they might have done?) and “descended to the level of evil,” thus rejecting the ethical and moral concepts of Judaism.

Is this the kind of a holiday we wish to propagate?  Are these the kinds of men we want our moral and humanistic children to honor?  Is this the kind of Judaism that we wish to observe and pass on to our children?

Where shall we find the man of courage the one voice, in the wilderness to cry out against Chanukah and the Judaism that it represents-the Judaism of our grandparents and ancestors?  Where shall we find the man of honesty and integrity to attack the Judaism of Medievalism and outdated foolishness; the Judaism of bigotry that strikes down Jews who refuse to observe the law; the Judaism of violence that calls for Jewish force and might against the enemy?  When shall we find the courage to proudly eat our Chinese food and violate our Sabbaths and reject all the separateness, nationalism and religious maximalism that Chanukah so ignobly represents?  …Down with Chanukah!  It is a regressive holiday that merely symbolizes the Judaism that always was; the Judaism that was handed down to us from Sinai; the Judaism that made our ancestors ready to give their lives for the L-rd; the Judaism that young people instinctively know is true and great and real.  Such Judaism is dangerous for us and our leaders.  We must do all in our power to bury it.

 

Kahane Resources would like to thank Mrs. Barbara Ginsburg for providing the text for this article.

Hanukah: What Is a Hellenist?

Recently, it was publicized that “30% of high school students define themselves as racists”. The fact is, that no one defined themselves in such a way. Then what? A survey which was conducted amongst the youth proved that they are still of healthy spirit! 72% were for preventing Arabs from being Knesset members, for fear that it will harm the Jewish character or the security of the state; 50% do not agree that Arabs should have equal rights; and more. For most Jews, this is sanity, but for the Israeli newspaper “Yidiot Achronot”, this is “racism”.

In the aftermath of the above survey, this same newspaper then brought down a “questionnaire” for all it’s readers, in which one can check himself to see if he is a “racist”. The multiple choice questions were in the form of a scale which rose in its degree of “racist” tendencies. Among the yardsticks to measure “racism”, you were asked what your reaction would be if your daughter brought home a Thailand worker or an Arab doctor from the Triangle, and introduced him as her future husband. If you would protest against such a marriage, you are a “racist” of the highest degree (on the scale, it is written, “you are dangerous!”); In contrast, the “anti-racist” sits next to the “suitor”, puts his hand on his shoulder and has a heart to heart chat with him…

What does all this have to do with Chanukah? It must be remembered that the circumstances for the Macabees war 2500 years ago were less severe than they are today. 2500 years ago, there arose from the Jewish people Hellenists. Hellenists are not people who for one reason or another find it difficult to fulfill mitzvot. Hellenists are those who want to be like the goyim. There is a difference. It is not just a matter of casting off the yoke of Heaven out of weakness or lust. Hellenism is an “ideal” in itself – to bring down the needless barriers between Jews and gentiles, which is the cause, so to speak, of all problems. Hellenism is first and foremost, the claim that there is nothing special or chosen about the Jewish People, and all people are equal.

This being the case, we find that today we are in a much more “progressive” stage than we were then. The “value” which overrides everything else in the state of Israel today is “democracy” and “equality”, and any opposition to this concept is considered the most severe of crimes. This is the true significance of the “war against racism” which has been taking place over the past decade. We are speaking about a war against the uniqueness of the Jewish Nation. In truth, the hellenists of today are not a large group. But their power and influence is immense, concentrated mainly in the judiciary and mass media. The government has not yet dared to stand against them. Any attempt to do so was immediately put to rest through media incitement, and when necessary, judiciary action. In this past year, these two functionaries have worked in unprecedented fashion to squelch any initiatives by the government that wasn’t to their liking. They do not act out of personal interests, so to speak, but rather in the name of the ultimate value: Democracy. Therefore, there is no politician who dares to seriously oppose this “hallowed” value.

It is critical to emphasize: Not all secular Jews are hellenists. The opposite is true: Now that we have defined what a “hellenist” is, it isclear that only a very small group (even if they hold influence) enter this category. Most secular Jews, despite the fact that they do not fulfill mitzvot (for historical and objective reasons), identify with their Jewishness, and are not ready to tear down the barriers between them and the gentile. They are still “gut Jews”. Without a doubt, most secular Jews in Israel would receive high marks as “racists” in the aforementioned test. But it is a great mark as Jew! Despite the severe spiritual problem plaguing the Jewish nation, at least they cling to their identity: We are Jews! We are special!

All that is missing is the war against the hellenists. Unfortunately, many use the concept of “Love of Jews” (Ahavat Yisrael) in a perverted way, often out of a need to placate the hellenists, in order to prevent a confrontation with them. But the message of Chanukah is this: As much as it may hurt, in order to save the Jewish People, out of a love of Jews, it is an obligation to fight that small band of hellenists who grip the Jewish nation by the throat, and do not permit them to fulfill their internal and true aspiration – to be Jews and not hellenists!

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