10 Cheshvan 5782 / Saturday, October 16, 2021 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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Jewish Pride Week    

Jewish Pride Week

The Greeks and their self-hating collaborators did everything to poison the well of Jewish pride: be ashamed of your Judaism, of Israel and of your belief in G-d…


Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that the eight days of Chanukah are days of gratitude. As we say in the Al HaNissim prayer, we thank Hashem for delivering the many into the hands of the few, for enabling the weak to overcome the mighty and for avenging our enemies who tried to make us forget our beloved Creator and His Torah.


The Greeks and their Jewish Hellenist collaborators did everything to poison the well of Jewish pride: be ashamed of your Judaism, be ashamed of Israel and be ashamed of your belief in G-d.


The Hellenists are still here. They're not just something out of the past whom the Maccabees fought against. They are the perennial agents of the evil inclination whose goal is twofold: first, to rob you of your pride as a Jew and second, to rob you of your faith in Hashem. That's why the Greeks forced the Jews to write on the horns of their cows, "We have no part in the G-d of Israel", Heaven forbid. They outlawed Torah, circumcision and Sabbath observance so that we'd forget Hashem altogether, Heaven forbid.


Today, you can find Hellenists in the forefront of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Movement, the Gay Pride Movement and other such anti-Torah, anti-Jewish and anti-Israel movements with a variety of names but with the same twofold goal, to rob us of our pride as Jews and as believers in Hashem.


The Greeks and their Hellenist appeasers – the comfort-zone, politically correct and self-despising Jews who kowtowed to them – tried to convince the Jews of Hasmonean times that there's no culture like Greek culture, no knowledge like Greek knowledge, no athletic prowess like Greek athletic prowess and no military might like Greek military might. That wasn't enough. They wanted to make the Jews ashamed of their Jewry and ashamed of their nationality with the propaganda that Jews are weak, uncultured and ignorant. More than 90% of the Jews at that time fell into the trap of believing the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish Greek myths.


Eventually, the Greeks didn't have to do the dirty propaganda work anymore – the Hellenists did it for them.


The Greeks didn't take into account one family of steadfast Jews, proud Israelites who were fiercely loyal to their G-d, their Torah and their homeland. These were the Maccabees, Mattathias the holy Priest from Modiin, and his five fiercely courageous and holy sons – Judah, Elazar, Shimon, Yochanan and Yonatan.


The Maccabees turned to Hashem against all odds. Hashem gave them fierce faith, unprecedented legendary courage, phenomenal strength and prowess.


By way of the Maccabees, Hashem broke the back of the Greek myths of cultural, physical and military superiority. Hashem, by way of the Maccabees, returned Jewish pride to the handful of Jews who wanted it.


Yes, only a handful, to this day.


That person who calls you primitive for spending an hour a day in personal prayer with Hashem is likely eaten up with negative emotions and feelings of inferiority. Why? Only those who feel inferior chide others. A person who feels good about himself will never ever ridicule another human being.


Hellenists – then and now – suffer from inferiority complexes. Otherwise, they'd never cast aside emuna and Torah.


Chanukah, when we light candles and say Hallel daily for eight days, is essentially Jewish Pride Week. Any Jew who lights Chanukah candles, prays to Hashem, learns Torah or guards the borders of Israel is a modern-day Maccabee.


Unlike the other "pride" movements, we don't need to parade in the streets. We celebrate in our homes and in our synagogues, where we're all singing Hashem's praise and thanking Him. We rejoice every time we see our blue-and white flag waving proudly in the wind or a Star of David on the wing of an IAF jet soaring overhead in the clear blue skies of our Land of Israel. We're proud every time a three-year old gets his first haircut, with his tztitzit and kippa. We're ever so happy that we're Jews, proud of our G-d, our Torah, our faith and our holy homeland of Israel. Happy Chanukah!

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