What Chanukah teaches us about terror

It’s hard to believe that this latest wave of terror has lasted from Sukkot all the way until Chanukah. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling hopeless and powerless, when practically every day there is more tragic news to digest and internalize.

But if we look at Jewish history with a long-term view, we can see that the Jewish people ultimately prevail at every turn. How is it that, of all the ancient nations, the Jewish nation is the only one which still exists?

There’s only one possible answer – Divine intervention.

The Chanukah story is famous for its implausibility – the small Maccabean army didn’t stand a chance against the mighty Greeks. The military victory was just as much a miracle as the jar of oil which lasted eight days. The Jewish army was able to beat the Greeks and rededicate the Temple because G-d “handed the many to the few.” When G-d fights along with the Jews, the opposing army will automatically be defeated.

We see evidence of this throughout Jewish history. The Israelites defeated Amalek, Ammon and Moav, despite the fact that they were a wandering nation, without army bases or regular training. They survived persecutions and pogroms and emerged as an independent nation in the State of Israel. Each and every one of Israel’s wars has been won by virtue of G-d’s help.

Take the Six Day War, which Jews alls over were sure was going to be a massacre. Israelis even prepared mass graves, anticipating too many casualties to bury properly. Instead, Israel had one of its most decisive victories, capturing East Jerusalem, the Kotel and vast expanses of land.

This Torah Live video illustrates the parallel between Chanukah and the Six Day War:

The random knifings and car jammings in Israel and attacks in London, San Bernardino and Paris make it easy to forget that G-d is on our side. But just as He has protected us throughout our history, we must have faith that He will get us through these hardships as well. We are a strong nation, one which dances in the face of terror, and we are certain that G-d will give us the strength we need to prevail over terrorism.

About the Author
A revolutionary educator, Rabbi Dan Roth is the founder and director of Torah Live, an organization that creates exciting multimedia presentations and teaching resources on both halachic and hashkafic topics. Raised in London, Rabbi Roth is a graduate of Kerem B'Yavneh and the Mir Yeshiva and received semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. While teaching at Ohr Somayach, he recognized the need for making Torah relevant to our youth - and thus Torah Live was born! Rabbi Roth now spends most of his time script writing, filming, and traveling the world to inspire individuals and educators in how to utilize today’s technology to engage people in the beauty, and relevance, of Torah in our lives.
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