16 Nissan 5779 / Sunday, April 21, 2019 | Torah Reading: Acharei Mot
 
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The Struggle Against Hellenism    

The Struggle Against Hellenism



As anshei emuna – believers – we know that Hashem put us in a situation where the odds are always against us. This makes His miraculous Divine Providence even more apparent.

 



An old Breslever saying says that when one lights Chanuka candles and believes that the miracle of Chanuka only took place once upon a time in history without believing that it's still taking place this very minute, then he isn't properly fulfilling the mitzva.

As anshei emuna – believers – we know that Hashem put us in a situation where the odds are always against us. This makes His hashgacha, miraculous Divine Providence over His people Israel even more apparent. Seeing Hashem’s miracles every single day as our enemies rise, threaten us, and fall one by one is ever so conducive to emuna.
 
With emuna, we know that we can win the age-old struggle against Hellenism; it’s been going on ever since the beginning of our history, when Esau became the first assimilationist and nemesis of his brother – our forefather - Jacob.
 
The Maccabees not only fought against the Greeks, but fought against the assimilationist Jews, then known as Hellenists. The Maccabees, from the Hasmonean family of Cohanim (priests), were virtually the only loyal, steadfast Torah-observant Jews of their time. The Greek occupation of Israel was very benevolent on a physical basis. The Greeks encouraged Jewish participation in all their institutions - athletics, academic, and political. They only outlawed three "tiny" mitzvas - Shabbat, circumcision, and the lunar calendar. Very clever - no Shabbat means no emuna that Hashem created the world. No circumcision means no covenant of holiness and no Jewish identity. No lunar calendar means no Jewish holidays. All three prohibitions meant the death of Judaism, G-d forbid.
 
99% of the populace assimilated back then. Only the Maccabees and their tiny band of followers remained loyal to Hashem and His Torah.
 
According to Rebbe Natan of Breslev (see Likutei Halachot, Chanuka, Halacha 2.1), an evil regime is that which attempts to terminate our Divine service and Torah learning. Anyone who harbors a design to kill Jews certainly qualifies as evil, since a dead person can't serve Hashem or learn Torah. Yet, there's no difference between the Hellenists of today - those who lead what they proudly call "the secular revolution" in Israel, whether it be the media, a political party, or whoever else - and the Hellenists of yesteryear. Both did and do everything in their power to spread hate, especially against Torah-observant Jews, the Torah, and the holy Yeshivot.
 
Rebbe Natan says that the only way to defeat such evil is through a connection with a powerful tzaddik that has the power of holiness to defeat evil. Our connection to Rebbe Nachman gives us that power.
 
Today, we don't fight against evil with spears. We use the light of the tzaddik, which we put in suitable vessels like Emuna CDs, The Garden of Emuna, The Garden of Peace, In Forest Fields, or The Trail to Tranquility. Now you know what to buy the people you love for Chanuka…
 
Rather than killing evil, we convert the evil to holiness. That's how we intend to bring Moshiach. It doesn't matter who gets elected in Israel, because ultimately, all the politicians from all the political parties will all do teshuva and come home to Hashem and to their holy roots. A little flicker of Rebbe Nachman's light defeats tons of Hellenistic darkness.
 
 
(We invite you to visit Rabbi Lazer Brody’s award-winning daily web journal Lazer Beams)




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