Tonight we kindle the second candle of Chanukah, marking the heroic victory of the few against the many, of the weak against the mighty, of the Jews against the Syrian-Greeks in 167 BCE.
Mi yemalel gvurot Yisrael otan mi yimneh? Who can retell the heroism of Israel, who can count them?
And where are the sons of the Maccabees today when we desperately need them? Has the Hasmonean family dynasty disappeared? If so, they have been replaced by the might, fortitude, courage and morality of our brave and honorable Israel Defense Forces.
But looking at events today, it seems to me that our Israeli government has been castrated. They lack the genitalia to fervently attack the filth spewed from words of our enemies and so-called “Partners for Peace”.
Today the mad dog of Turkey has barked again decrying us as “an occupying state, a terrorist state” and we do not attack in kind.
Yesterday on a channel 12 interview, a member of our Knesset, our national Parliament, a leader of the Arab Balad party, Jamal Zehalka, remarked “I hold Israeli citizenship but I am a Palestinian and I identify only with Palestine. The Israeli flag is worse than a filthy rag. I’d rather die than sing the Israeli national anthem”.
Am I dreaming? Is this only a fantasy of a man who ate too many sufganiyot (jelly donuts)? What country in all the universe would permit a member of government or parliament to make such a statement? Can anyone name one such country?
I can. It is called the State of Israel !!!
For years we have permitted, under the guise of freedom of speech and expression, Arab members of our Parliament to stand at the plenum to denounce the country which pays their salaries and which permits them to speak freely. We have endured the traitorous remarks of Hanan Zouabi and Ahmed Tibi for too long. And today we are defamed again by Member of Knesset Jamal Zehalka.
The Palestinian president Abbas stated that for him the Oslo Accords are dead. He has threatened to dissolve Palestinian “recognition” of Israel and calls upon the countries of the United Nations to do likewise.
Has Israel been castrated? Have we lost the body parts which allegedly produce vigor, stamina, strength, power and might to retaliate first in words and then, if necessary, with weapons?
We are showing a weak face to the world. We should enforce a law that all citizens of Israel, secular and religious Jews, Christian and Muslim Arabs, must be required to respect our national flag. While it is true that they are not able to sing the words of our national anthem…words which apply only and specifically to Zionist Jews… they must nevertheless respect the anthem of the country in which they live and should be required by law to stand at attention when the anthem is publicly played and sung.
Is it not time for us to dissolve our diplomatic relations with Erdogan’s Turkey? Have we no pride? Can we allow leaders of countries with whom we have legitimate representation to de-legitimize us?
V’im lo achshav…aimatai? And if we do not do it now….then when? Where is Yehudah ben Matityahu of Mod’in now when we are in need of his strength and leadership?
The word “Chanukah” means re-dedication. As our Holy Temple in Jerusalem was re-dedicated after it had been defiled by the Hellenists led by the Syrian-Greek ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes, we now are in need of our national re-dedication in the spirit of the victorious Hasmoneans.
The Jews used a play-on-words to describe the ruler of the Hellenists. They did not call him Epiphanes which in Greek means “the great one”. Instead they mocked him and called him Epimanes which in Greek means “the mad one”.
There are too many “Epiphanes-im” in our midst and nearby. The madmen. The barking dogs, who howl without ceasing to call for our destruction. We cannot…we must not… remain silent or stagnant in the face of verbal threats and intended attacks against us. The castration of our government must end now.
“Ki orcha lanu ha yeshua v’ain kaitz l’yemai ha ra-ah”… triumph is too long delayed and there is no end to days of evil.
Long live the spirit and courage of the Maccabees. May God protect the defenders of Israel.
May there truly be “ora v’simcha b’chag ha-oorim”… light and gladness on the Festival of lights.