The unknown Hanukkah Megilla There is actually a little known Megillah for the festival. Who wrote it? and More than 40 Israelis detained at Moscow airport, passports confiscated and I’m an American Jewish teenager and I’m a Kahanist.
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.
Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.
The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others but ourselves as well.
The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose.
I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.
There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.
I've told my children that when I die, to release balloons in the sky to celebrate that I graduated. For me, death is a graduation.
Live, so you do not have to look back and say: 'God, how I have wasted my life.
'For those who seek to understand it, death is a highly creative force. The highest spiritual values of life can originate from the thought and study of death.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies, and author of the internationally best-selling book, On Death and Dying, where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief, also known as the "Kübler-Ross model". WikipediaBorn: July 8, 1926, Zürich, SwitzerlandDied: August 24, 2004, Scottsdale, Arizona, United States
The unknown Hanukkah Megilla There is actually a little known Megillah for the festival. Who wrote it?
Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple,
Hanukkah and Purim are often compared. But the differences are substantial.
In particular, without Megillat Esther there would be no Purim, whilst Hanukkah without its Megillah is not only possible but taken for granted.
Yet there is actually a Megillah for the festival.
Known variously as Megillat Antiochus ("The Scroll of Antiochus"), Megillat Beit Chashmona'i(m) ("The Scroll of the House of the Hasmoneans") and Megillah Y'vanit ("The Greek Scroll"), it is a post-Biblical compilation in 76 verses, originally in Aramaic, in deliberate imitation of the style of the Scroll of Esther.
Presumably, the authors hoped their work would achieve the status of Megillat Esther on Purim, but the dream was never realized, for reasons we shall explain.
The theme of the book is the Hasmonean victories, ending with the destruction of the Second Temple. The book is written as more legend than objective history.
Thus there is a conversation between the Maccabean brother Yochanan and the Syrian governor Nicanor.
Yochanan had come storming to the governor's mansion in protest against the slaughter of a pig on the Temple altar.
He started by speaking peaceably, promising Nicanor he would do whatever he was asked.
Nicanor said, "Then take a pig and sacrifice it on the altar; you will be rewarded with crimson robes and royal favor".
Yochanan said, "But anyone hears what I have agreed to, they will stone me!" So Nicanor ordered that the room be cleared.
Once the bodyguards had left, Yochanan took the dagger he had concealed in his cloak, stabbed the governor and flung him fatally wounded into the Temple court, pleading with God not to punish him for committing murder.
One might have thought the Jewish people, once they heard of this deed, would have been proud. One might also have thought that all the valiant exploits of the Maccabees family would have become a popular theme of acclaim throughout the centuries to come.
But the stories were suppressed and the military skills of the Maccabees played down because they would encourage militant nationalism, not spirituality. History would have acknowledged human military might, not Divine intervention.
The miraculous discovery of the sacred oil would not have become known, or at best it would have been smiled at as the pious imagination of unworldly believers. So the authors of Megillat Antiochus were never to see their book become an authoritative part of Jewish observance.
Who did write the book?
There are several theories. Sa'adia Ga'on (9th century) thought it was the Maccabean brothers themselves, with a final section added later.
The Ge'onim thought the authors were the Schools of Shammai and Hillel.
Haham Moses Gaster argued for a 1st century BCE date; others believed the book derived from the 7th century CE.
The first known text in our possession is in a siddur from Salonika, published in 1568.
It did actually reach the synagogue bimah on Shabbat Hanukkah in Italy and Yemen, and amongst some Sefardim. It is not used by Ashkenazim, though the Baer Siddur from 1868 Germany includes it.
However, because the book is not Biblical no b'rachah could be said, and the Megillah remains a little-known curiosity.
More than 40 Israelis detained at Moscow airport, passports confiscated
Following two hours of questioning and fingerprinting, all passengers were released.
More than 40 Israelis were detained on Wednesday at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow and their passports confiscated.
The passengers, including children, were brought to a pre-prepared area where Russian security personnel questioned them.
Following two hours of questioning and fingerprinting, all passengers were released.
The incident followed the arrest and imprisonment by Russian authorities of 26-year-old Israeli Naama Issachar, who was discovered with 9.5 grams of cannabis in her checked luggage on a connecting flight through Moscow on her way to Israel from India several months ago.
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It is believed that Issachar's heavy sentence may have been designed to pressure Israel into stopping the extradition to the United States of Russian cyber-criminal Alexei Burkov, who after four years of incarceration was ultimately sent to America on charges of hacking U.S. credit-card databases.
Down with Chanukah
Rabbi Meir Kahane Writings (5732-33) (1971-73)
Written December 15, 1972
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.
I'm an American Jewish teen and believe we need to teach self defense
The lack of Zionist leadership in America and tepid response to antisemitism is mostly because great organizations like Betar stopped operating in America.
I'm an American Jewish teenager and I'm a Kahanist.
I'm growing up in suburbia, so why am I a Kahanist? I have read almost all of Rabbi Kahane's books, I bring them to school every day. The logic he brings in his books is just stunning. I was born 15 years after he was assassinated. You can bet El Sayid Nossair and the people that assisted him with the Rabbi's assassination would have never dreamed a 14 year old boy, 29 years after the assassination, would be continuing to believe in Rabbi Kahane's ideas.
This month is Rabbi Kahane's 29th yahrzeit. He was murdered on the 18th of Heshvan by El Sayid Nosair. The Rabbi was giving a speech in New York about how Jews should return to Israel. Two years before he was murdered his party was banned from the Israeli Knesset, parliament. His party was the first party ever banned from the Israeli parliament. In my opinion the banning of his party is completely undemocratic. If Israel is a democracy then everyone should be allowed to run for parliament.
At my age Rabbi Kahane joined a youth Zionist movement, Betar. Betar taught him how to shoot, he also attended protests and demonstrations with Betar. One of the Betar protests that the Rabbi attended was in New York on April 17, 1947, protesting the British Royal Navy. Betar also gave him many leadership values that should be replicated today because of the recent attacks on synagogues. The lack of Zionist leadership in America is mostly because great organizations like Betar stopped operating in America.
In 1968 Rabbi Kahane started the Jewish Defense League. The Jewish Defense League focused on combating anti-Semitism and the alienation of the Jewish youth. Rabbi Kahane realized Jewish youth like myself were not being taught self-defense and Jewish pride. The Jewish Defense League protested and demonstrated for Soviet Jews to be released from Soviet Russia
"We must define our youth; we must tell them who they are. We must answer their questions: what and why is a Jew? What and why am I?" wrote Rabbi Kahane (Our Challenge, 1974).
The young people are scared, they just want to fit in with their gentile neighbors. Many kids nowadays want to go to public school and want to marry the girl next door and want to forget what it means to be a Jew. And their parents are so proud of them for marrying for love. American Jewish youth are going through a Holocaust. Not a physical one but a spiritual one. They are losing what it means to be a Jew.
Rabbi Kahane realized that the betrayal by the left's Jewish leaders was disastrous. Even now they are convincing the young that tragedies like the rockets fired at Israel this week by Islamic terrorists in Gaza are somehow Israel's fault. The complete lack of caring for Jewish self-defense by most Jewish leaders is outright repellent especially after all of the terrible attacks on synagogues and lately on Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn.
A lot of my friends are being deprived of the ability to learn self-defense because the Jewish Defense League was disassembled and over the last 20 years or more since JDL's decline tens of thousands of other young Jews were deprived of the basic right of self-defense. Self-defense was one of Rabbi Kahane's main principles, he knew there would be a day where the Jewish community would not be safe. Today might be the day.